cervical dysplasia

QIAGEN and INOVIO to develop diagnostic tests for cervical dysplasia treatment

pharmafile | February 24, 2021 | News story | Research and Development Inovio, Qiagen, cervical dysplasia 

QIAGEN and INOVIO Pharmaceuticals have extended their collaboration to develop a new diagnostic test which identifies the women most likely to benefit from INOVIO’s treatment for cervical dysplasia.

The diagnostic products will be liquid biopsy-based, founded on next-generation sequencing technology to complement INOVIO’s therapies.

Cervical dysplasia is a condition involving the growth of abnormal or precancerous cells in or around the cervix. It is caused by the sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV), and can be treated with INOVIO’s immunotherapy VGX-3100.

VGX-3100 is designed to utilise the patient’s own immune system to clear HPV-16/18-associated high-grade pre-cancerous lesions with the aim of reducing the risk of cancer.

The treatment is currently in two Phase III trials, with the potential to become the first non-surgical treatment for advanced pre-cancerous cervical lesions associated with the virus.

The companies’ new agreement also covers the development of companion diagnostics for INOVIO’s HPV therapies for a range of sample types and technologies, such as polymerase chain reaction and next generation sequencing.

Dr J Joseph Kim, INOVIO’s President and CEO, said: ”As we advance our DNA medicines platform, we are always looking for ways to drive innovation with our own technology or that of a creative and accomplished partner. QIAGEN is contributing an extensive track record of developing and commercialising novel diagnostic tests.”

“INOVIO is developing VGX-3100 as a non-surgical treatment for cervical pre-cancer and pre-treatment biomarkers we have discovered could be a targeted way to identify patients most likely to respond to treatment. The goal is to increase the absolute efficacy of the immunotherapy.”

Jean-Pascal Viola, Senior Vice President and Head of the Molecular Diagnostics Business Area and Corporate Business Development at QIAGEN, added: “Our experience in developing liquid biopsy-based diagnostic solutions for precision medicine in immuno-oncology will help INOVIO address a larger unmet medical need.” 

“We bring to this partnership our proven leadership in PCR companion diagnostics, as well as long-standing experience in developing innovative and custom NGS panels for our customers. Our recognised bioinformatic capabilities will help improve the efficacy of biomarker signatures. Our team is looking forward to applying our expertise for HPV-related cervical pre-cancer identification with INOVIO.”

Jack Goddard

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