OMAHA, Neb., May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Transgenomic, Inc. (OTC/BB: TBIO) announced today that it has acquired an exclusive worldwide license to Montefiore Medical Center's (Bronx, NY, US) patent application, "Method of Determining the Sensitivity of Cancer Cells to EGFR Inhibitors including cetuximab, panitumumab and erlotinib". The invention relates to the discovery by Montefiore scientists and collaborators that tumor-specific mutations in the genes PIK3CA and PTEN can aid in predicting patient non-response to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, a widely prescribed class of cancer drugs.
Transgenomic is incorporating the PIK3CA and PTEN gene assays into its rapidly expanding menu of cancer profiling tests available through its clinical reference laboratories and is developing testing kits for sale to other labs. Testing of these genes is also being offered to support drug development research by pharmaceutical companies that have been expressing great interest in these genes and in Transgenomic's proprietary, ultra-sensitive mutation-detection technologies. At the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in April of this year, Transgenomic described methods for detecting tumor-specific mutations at such low levels that it may be possible to identify them in patients' blood samples, not just in surgically obtained tumor tissues.
"This exclusive license from Montefiore strengthens our cancer-related diagnostic test portfolio and is integral to the continued development of our leadership position in oncology," said Craig Tuttle, CEO of Transgenomic. "At Transgenomic, we are uniquely equipped to maximize the value of these genetic discoveries by combining them with the unparalleled sensitivity of our proprietary mutation-detection technologies. Our exclusive access to this new intellectual property will enable us to provide the most comprehensive analysis for predicting response to ca