QIAGEN Unit and Pfizer in agreement to develop diagnostic kit for
9 February 2010
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and DxS (a wholly owned subsidiary of
QIAGEN N.V.) (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt, Prime Standard: QIA) have entered
into an agreement to develop a companion diagnostic test kit for
PF-04948568 (CDX-110), an immunotherapy vaccine in development for the
treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Financial terms of the diagnostic agreement have not been disclosed.
On April 16, 2008, Pfizer and Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. entered into
an agreement to grant Pfizer an exclusive worldwide license to
PF-04948568 (CDX-110) which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development
for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM.
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common malignant primary brain
tumour in adults and occurs in around 25,000 patients worldwide each
year. Pfizer’s investigational drug PF-04948568 (CDX-110) is a peptide
vaccine which targets the tumour-specific Epidermal Growth Factor
Receptor variant III (EGFRvIII), a mutated form of the epidermal growth
factor receptor that is only present in cancer cells and occurs in 25-40
percent of GBM tumours. The QIAGEN assay is designed to identify those
patients whose tumours express the EGFRvIII mutation, allowing for the
possibility of more targeted and personalized treatment.
The EGFRvIII companion diagnostic will be developed and manufactured
at QIAGEN’s Center of Excellence for Companion Diagnostics in
Manchester, UK. The diagnostic will be a real-time PCR assay used to
detect EGFRvIII RNA in tumour tissue. The assay is designed to offer a
simple workflow, which supports its clinical utility in routine mutation
Commenting on this announcement, Dr. Stephen Little, Vice President
Personalized Healthcare, for QIAGEN, said, “We are very pleased to have
signed this agreement with Pfizer, as it is another important step
toward the realization of personalized medicine. QIAGEN is aligned to
deliver companion diagnostics to our pharmaceutical partners and this
deal is further evidence of our commitment to develop our scientific and
operational capabilities to help select the right patient for the right
“We look forward to collaborating with QIAGEN's DxS unit in the
development of this important diagnostic tool that could potentially
help physicians better define the most appropriate treatment for
patients who suffer from glioblastoma multiforme,” said Garry Nicholson,
president and general manager of Pfizer’s Oncology Business Unit.