Qiagen and Eli Lilly Collaborate on Co-Diagnostics

Qiagen has joined forces with Eli Lilly to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics that will help target treatment with Lilly's investigational and approved medicines across all therapeutic areas. Previously, the two companies have collaborated on co-diagnostics designed to run on Qiagen's Rotor-Gene Q system. The terms of their present agreement provide a framework for them to partner in the future on additional co-diagnostics for Lilly therapeutics in various areas. "Through partnerships like this, Qiagen offers pharma companies a cost-effective way to maximize the value and benefits of potential new medicines in their pipelines, while also reducing the risks in medicine development," said Ulrich Schriek, PhD, senior vice president of global business development at Qiagen. Qiagen is currently involved in more than 15 projects with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies to co-develop and market co-diagnostics.

AMA and McKesson Seek to Improve Identification, Tracking of MDx Tests

The American Medical Association (AMA) has partnered with McKesson to develop a new reference product that maps McKesson Z-Code Identifiers to corresponding molecular pathology codes in the AMA's Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set. The McKesson Diagnostics Exchange assigns Z-Code Identifiers to molecular diagnostic (MDx) tests on which laboratories and diagnostics manufacturers have submitted information. Physicians, hospitals, and payers use CPT codes to report and reimburse for services delivered to patients. By grouping and indexing the identifiers and codes together, AMA and McKesson aim to create a consistent and transparent way for the healthcare industry to identify and track MDx tests. Currently, MDx tests represent the fastest growing sector of lab testing. "Understanding their clinical and financial impact across the healthcare system is challenging," said Matthew Zubiller, vice president of decision management at McKesson. "Identifying new tests as they evolve is critical to support smarter and more informed care decisions to address the quality and cost of care."

The additional capabilities of the McKesson Diagnostics Exchange will also complement AMA’s ongoing development and maintenance of a CPT code set for MDx services.

Dako and Pfizer Enter Co-Dx Agreement

Dako and Pfizer have signed an agreement under the terms of which the two companies will develop and commercialize various companion diagnostics. The partnership will support Pfizer's co-diagnostic efforts, which are an important part of its growing precision medicine capabilities. "This collaboration is testimony to the level of expertise and service Dako is committed to delivering to our partners in companion diagnostics," said Dako CEO Lars Holmkvist. The agreement follows Dako's recent announcement about entering a master framework agreement with Eli Lilly that will allow Dako to develop novel co-diagnostics for Lilly’s oncology portfolio.

Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian Create Precision Medicine Institute

Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital have formed the Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell and NY-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, which Weill Cornell professor and NY-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell pathologist Mark Rubin, MD, will lead. At the institute, clinicians, basic scientists, pathologists, molecular biologists, and computational biologists will collaborate to identify the specific genetic factors contributing to patients' illnesses and manage treatment. The institute's physician-scientists will also use this genomic analysis to identify a patient's risk of diseases and take necessary steps to help prevent disease onset. The new institute will use its discoveries about the molecular underpinnings of disease to build a comprehensive biobank for all patient specimens and tissue samples, and to help develop novel, individualized therapies that will be tested in clinical trials.