Date: 08 March 2017
Partnership to support the discovery and development of novel biomarkers, enabling personalised medicine
Craigavon, N.I., 08 March 2017 – Almac Diagnostics, the global personalised medicine company, focusing on the discovery, development and commercialisation of complex diagnostic and companion diagnostic tests, has announced that it has been selected by the European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) as its preferred partner for molecular profiling of cancer patient samples collected by EORTC clinical trials, including SPECTA (Screening Patients for Effective Clinical Trial Access), a pan-European Cancer network.
The ambition of EORTC is to streamline patient inclusion in clinical trials of molecularly targeted treatment, gaining efficiency from reliable centralised molecular testing. In addition, EORTC seeks to standardise Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and Gene Expression Analysis in translational research projects, enhancing reproducibility and comparability of results.
Almac Diagnostics will receive and process patient samples across multiple disease types from various locations across Europe, using the new Illumina Trusight Tumor 170 solid tumor NGS panel to analyse patterns of genomic variation within patient samples. The company will provide this service from its European facility in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.
The output of the analysis by Almac Diagnostics will contribute to the SPECTA database, which will be an invaluable resource to the Oncology community in terms of therapeutic development and identification of novel biomarkers of response and prognosis as well as diagnosis of cancer patients. This will ultimately lead to the development and commercialisation of future companion diagnostics.
Michael Sloan, VP of Commercial Operations at Almac Diagnostics said: “The SPECTA Programme is a unique cancer research initiative enabling personalised medicine through its key collaborations across Europe. We are proud to have been chosen by the EORTC as a partner of choice for the molecular profiling of these valuable SPECTA samples and excited by the opportunities the generation of this data will provide to improve patient care.”
Vassilis Golfinopoulos, EORTC Medical Director said: “This agreement with Almac Diagnostics is one of several key partnerships EORTC has established to further develop the SPECTA infrastructure. Through the Illumina Trusight Tumor 170 solid tumor NGS panel and pipeline, EORTC seeks to improve substantially all stages of therapeutic agents development, from early clinical assessment to refinement of targeted molecular indications.”
John Leite, PhD, Vice President of Oncology at Illumina said: “Illumina believes that TruSight Tumor 170 can become the standard across the industry for how cancer-relevant genetic variants are identified and, through the research done by SPECTA, lead to new diagnostics that will guide precision oncology decisions. The next step in this realization is to provide efficient access for patients to molecularly driven clinical trials. This is the goal of the collaboration between Almac Diagnostics and the EORTC, which Illumina fully supports.”
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About Almac Diagnostics
Almac Diagnostics is a global personalised medicine company focused on the discovery, development and commercialisation of diagnostic tests including companion diagnostics. Our approach to personalised medicine is poised to change the way that medicines are developed, regulated and prescribed. We partner with biopharma companies to provide solutions ranging from pre-clinical biomarker discovery to companion diagnostic development including regulatory submissions and commercialisation. We also facilitate biomarker clinical trial management and clinical test delivery from our CLIA-accredited lab. The tests developed at Almac Diagnostics have a wide range of applications including patient selection, and are utilised in phase I to phase III registrational clinical trials.
An emphasis on scientific and technological excellence combined with a committed and passionate multi-functional team, puts Almac Diagnostics in a leadership position to take companion and other diagnostic tests all the way through development and to commercialisation.
About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’
The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.
The international company is a privately owned organisation that has organically grown over 40 years and now employs in excess of 4,500 highly skilled personnel. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland with operations in Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).
The European Organisation for the Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) brings together European cancer clinical research experts from all disciplines for trans-national collaboration. Both multinational and multidisciplinary, the EORTC Network comprises more than 4,800 collaborators from all disciplines involved in cancer treatment and research in more than 800 hospitals in over 41 countries. A unique pan-European clinical research infrastructure, EORTC offers an integrated approach to drug development, drug evaluation programs and medical practices through translational and clinical research.
More information: www.eortc.org