German electronics firm Siemens has been contracted to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics by US drug giant Pfizer.
The agreement – financial terms of which were not disclosed – will see Siemens’ Healthcare Diagnostics unit develop in vitro diagnostic tests for several of the drugmaker’s candidate products.
The diagnostics – which are designed for hospitals, reference labs and point-of-care clinics – will be developed at Siemens’ facilities in the US, which include diagnostics laboratories in Berkeley, California and Tarrytown, New York.
Siemens said it will be one of several partners to work with Pfizer on companion diagnostics, but declined to provide further information when contacted by Outsourcing-pharma.com
According to announcements over the past few years Pfizer’s diagnostics team has worked separately with Qiagen and Abbott to develop tests for the candidate lung cancer treatments dacomitinib and PF-02341066 .
Also, in February this year the US drug firm partnered with Agilent’s Dako unit on an undisclosed companion diagnostics project.
The deal with Pfizer is one of a number of diagnostics development agreements Siemens has announced in the last few years.
In February last year, the firm partnered with ViiV – the HIV-focused joint-venture set up by Pfizer in collaboration with GSK in 2009 – to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests for its antiviral Celsentri/Selzentry.
Siemens also teamed with Tocagen to create diagnostic assays that to support clinical trials of the firm’s candidate viral brain cancer therapy.
The deal comes a few months after Pfizer rival Eli Lilly underlined its interest in companion diagnostics by forming a development agreement with Corgenix just a few months after it also partnered with Dako.
The drug industry’s growing interest in developing companion diagnostics for both research and the market has not gone unnoticed by contract research and development organisations, many of whom – Covance and Icon for example – have invested in biomarker capabilities.