PGDx signs licensing deal with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Baltimore


Feb. 28, 2018 12:49 pm

PGDx signs licensing deal with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

The deal gives Baltimore-based PGDx intellectual property to bolster its cancer tests.

Pipettes and test tubes.

(Photo by Flickr user Luca Volpi, used under a Creative Commons license)

Personal Genome Diagnostics is adding to its IP portfolio to further develop new kinds of cancer tests.

A licensing deal announced Wednesday gives the Canton-based company exclusive rights to develop and commercialize products based on a key discovery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The two entities were both involved in research of a biomarker called tumor mutation status. This measures the number of mutations in a tumor. In a 2015 study published by Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers in the journal Science, patients with more mutations responded to a new form of cancer immunotherapy than those with a tumor with fewer mutations. It suggests that tests could indicate whether certain patients are good candidates for the drugs.

According to a statement from PGDx CEO Doug Ward, the new patents add to existing IP that the company has in the area.

“In 2016 we licensed co-exclusive rights to important intellectual property in this area from Johns Hopkins University and are now pleased to reinforce our IP portfolio by licensing MSK’s complementary patents,” Ward said. “We are confident that the combined patent estate adequately protects our extensive investment and development plans for our TMB-enabling tests.”

The company’s tests are based on work to analyze cancer at the genomic level that began at Johns Hopkins in 2010. It combines gene sequencing and algorithms, as well as new forms of testing. One such test would allow a biopsy to be taken from a blood sample.

The licensing deal comes a little more than a month after PGDx closed a $75 million Series B funding round, and said announced plans to develop the testing to be completed outside a lab. The company is also expanding to a second Baltimore office in Brewers Hill.

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