Quintiles and Dako, a Danish-based cancer diagnostics firm, are teaming up to help speed development of personalised medicine by collaborating on the co-development of targeted oncology therapies and diagnostics.
Under the agreement, Quintiles and Dako will offer drug-diagnostic development services, as well as diagnostic products. Dako will be responsible for developing cancer diagnostic tests, while Quintiles will validate and conduct the tests as part of the clinical validation.
Christopher Ung, Quintiles’ vice president of strategic business and operations, oncology, told Outsourcing-Pharma the partnership is designed to help biopharma companies streamline the development of safer, more effective targeted therapies and to help physician investigators “select the right patients for the right clinical trials.
He progressed to say that by combining highly accurate and reliable diagnostic tests and results, along with proper management of critical patient data, Quintiles and Dako will “help companies advance their oncology therapies more rapidly, with the ultimate goal of benefitting patients.”
The first collaboration in the pipeline will see the firms supporting UK drug major AstraZeneca in the development of one of its oncology compounds.
One-size-fits-all approach consigned to history
Believing oncology to be the most rapidly growing area of drug development, Ung said there is a definite need for personalised medicine as “cancers don’t behave the same in different patients,” and added “the one-size-fits-all” approach to medical care is being “consigned to history.”
Ung argues the concept of personalised medicine has developed out of the realisation that patients with the same disease respond differently to drugs based on their genetic make-up.
“Cancer is not homogenous, for example,” he said, adding, “understanding what drives the disease and what drug can benefit that cancer patient is particularly important.”
Ung hopes “to accelerate the development of personalised oncology therapies for patients in need,” by producing targeted therapies, allowing patients a better quality of life during treatment.
“Next, my hope is to figure out how to expand the usability period of these drugs so that they work not only for months, but for years,” added Ung.
According to New Medicine's Oncology KnowledgeBASE, there are currently more than 725 anticancer drugs in clinical development, and between 300-500 in preclinical and research stages. They anticipate the global oncology drug market will reach $80bn by 2050, doubling its market value today.