"When successful, bone marrow transplants can transform patients' lives," said
According to the
The KIR/KIR-Ligand test was developed by Dr. Leung, Dr. Rafijul Bari and colleagues at St. Jude as part of their research to determine the impact of variations in the KIR2DL1 gene. The group focused on forms of KIR2DL1 carried by natural killer (NK) cells, special immune cells that kill abnormal cells such as cancer cells. Their research found that some forms of KIR2DL1 in NK cells are more active than others, and NK cells carrying the stronger form of KIR2DL1 can destroy cancer cells more effectively than the NK cells with the less active form.
A study conducted by
"The KIR/KIR-Ligand technology developed at St. Jude offers enormous potential to improve the lives of patients who receive bone marrow transplants, and we're looking forward to putting our assay development expertise to work to make it available for widespread clinical use around the world," said
Under the terms of the agreement with St. Jude, Insight Genetics obtained the licensing rights to KIR2DL1 coding (cDNA) sequences and the KIR/KIR-Ligand Assay. Using its expertise in assay development, Insight Genetics initially will focus on refining the assay for clinical use, with plans to make it available to clinicians and researchers as a lab-developed test in early 2014. The company will be working to deepen relationships with bone marrow donor registry programs and transplant centers to enhance typing and donor matching for each procedure.
Insight Genetics' work on the KIR/KIR-Ligand Assay aligns with the company's expanding portfolio of advanced diagnostic tools to improve the lives of cancer patients. St. Jude previously licensed to Insight Genetics two other biomarkers, anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and a series of mutations within the ALK gene that confer resistance to ALK inhibitor therapy. The company is researching and developing additional tests to help physicians diagnose and monitor cancer patients and select the most effective treatments.
More information about St. Jude's work on the KIR/KIR-Ligand Assay can be seen here and here.
About Insight Genetics
Insight Genetics is a molecular diagnostics company with a mission of enabling precision medicine in the care of patients with cancer and other serious illnesses. The company's companion diagnostics detect specific biomarkers related to therapeutics that are currently in development or on the market for cancer or other diseases. Insight Genetics partners with leading academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, clinical reference laboratories, and IVD kit manufacturers to provide new standards of care for patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses worldwide. www.insightgenetics.com.
Source: Insight Genetics
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