Xconomy tells us today that Foundation Medicine has established a 2-year deal with Celgene to develop advanced cancer diagnostics - a deal very similar to one cut earlier this year with Novartis. The concept behind the Celgene deal is to develop tests that will help Celgene idenitify patients who are most likely to respond to the company's cancer therapies -- basically a companion diagnostics deal.
The deal will enable the two companies to chase the developing paradigm that new cancer therapies (and therapies for other diseases) should be tailored to individual patients. Said Michael Pellini, Foundation's new CEO, "This test is not a static offering. As our knowledge changes, we will continue to refine it. What Foundation is doing is the next generation of cancer diagnostics. It's a taste of things to come in our industry."
I believe that sentiment is correct. All forces seem to be driving drug companies to make more targeted therapies that show clear patient benefits -- to receive regulatory approval and third party reimbursement. These type of partnerships should become more common.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 17th 2011.