Kinaxo and Bayer Vital collaborate in cancer biomarker identification
21 October 2009
Kinaxo Biotechnologies GmbH and Bayer Vital GmbH have announced that they will enter into collaboration to develop cancer biomarkers.
Kinaxo will apply its quantitative phosphoproteomics technology PhosphoScout for the identification of novel biomarkers in a clinical trial conducted by Bayer Vital.
KINAXO’s phosphoproteomics platform allows annotation and quantification of regulated phosphorylation sites.
Since the majority of targeted compounds used as anti-cancer drugs influence cellular signal transduction pathways, analysis of phosphorylation patterns in relation to drug administration reveals a compound’s molecular mode of action. Characteristic phosphorylation sites predicting response to treatment, resistance mechanism or synergistic effects can hereby be identified as biomarkers which allow for personalized treatment plans.
Accompanying a clinical trial for the multi-kinase inhibitor Nexavar in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), KINAXO will apply its phosphoproteomics technology to reveal the drug’s influence on cellular phosphorylation patterns and to search for novel predictive biomarkers.
Nexavar is already approved for the treatment of hepatocellular (HCC) and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and shows promising effects in several other indications, amongst them AML, the most common type of leukemia in adults.
Despite considerable efforts over the last decades, therapeutic outcome in AML therapy has improved only modestly and remains dismal, with a high number of patients being non-responsive to standard treatment or recurrent.
Application of KINAXO’s phosphoproteomics technology could thus turn out to be a valuable tool to discover predictive biomarkers that foretell therapeutic outcome in patients.
Furthermore, quantitative phosphoproteomics will be applied to investigate the molecular efficiency of potential combination therapies in which Nexavar will be administered together with other targeted drugs to effectively fight cancer. In turn, individualized therapeutic strategies could then improve overall treatment outcome for malignant diseases, such as AML.
Dr. Erich Enghofer, Head of the Business Unit Oncology, said, “New treatment options, such as Nexavar, are responsible for the progress which has been achieved in recent years in the fight against cancer. Yet we still have a long way to go until a truly personalized medicine, based on validated biomarkers, will become a reality.
"That is the reason why we need to further investigate new diagnostic and treatment approaches. The co-operation between the business unit oncology at Bayer Vital in Leverkusen and Kinaxo Biotechnologies in Martinsried with Germany as the prime research site gives us a unique chance to substantially contribute to the improvement of cancer therapies.
"Both partners aim at investigating innovative technologies (such as phosphoproteomics) and targeted therapies (such as kinase inhibitors) which — in conjunction — should allow more effective cancer treatments and, thus, provide more hope to cancer patients.”