By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
Ignyta, the San Diego-based pharmaceutical and personal diagnostics firm, has entered into a collaboration with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) for a clinical trial regarding the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma.
Ignyta and UCSF will jointly develop a clinical trial studying the effects of the drug entrectinib on patients, particularly its impact on the genes NTRK1/2/3 and ROS1.
Ignyta will contribute $1 million toward the development of the clinical trial, and assist in the testing and enrollment of patients who are NTRK-positive or ROS1-positive. Entrectinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets tumors that contain activating alterations to NTRK1/2/3, ROS1 or ALK. Ignyta’s Trailblaze companion diagnostic helps identify patients with alterations in those three genes.
“The focus on melanoma in this study will complement the broader range of indications on which we are focused in our own clinical trials, and we expect the findings to accelerate our understanding of the potential role of entrectinib in treating patients with NTRK-positive and ROS1-positive cancers,” said Jonathan Lim, M.D. Ignyta’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
A prior clinical study suggested patients responded well to the drug if they had NTRK1/2/3, ROS1 and ALK fusions. They included patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), colorectal cancer and acinic cell cancer.
Ignyta focuses not only on developing drugs to treat specific diseases, but companion molecular diagnostic tests to identify patients who would likely respond well to those medications.