Date: 2012-05-21

Type of information: Licensing agreement

Compound: ERG biomarker (measure of ERG protein expression through immunohistochemistry (IHC) in prostate tissue)

Company: Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group (USA - Switzerland) Gen-Probe (USA)

Therapeutic area: Cancer - Oncology

Type agreement:


Action mechanism:

Disease: prostate cancer


Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group, has co-exclusively sub-licensed certain patents and patent applications from Gen-Probe for the worldwide in vitro diagnostic (IVD) rights for measuring ERG protein expression through immunohistochemistry in prostate tissue.  The license complements the existing Ventana worldwide co-exclusive sublicense under certain patents and patent applications for in situ hybridization rights for measuring ETS gene rearrangements, including ERG gene rearrangements in tissue.

In the journal Science, October 2005, researchers from University of Michigan, in collaboration with scientists from Brigham and Women\'s Hospital, identified that ERG, a known oncogene, rearranges and fuses with androgen response elements including TMPRSS2.  Since then, translational research has demonstrated that this rearrangement occurs in approximately 50 percent of prostate cancer patients, does not occur in healthy tissue and describes a molecular subtype of prostate cancer that is associated with androgen driven prostate cancer.  As this subtype is the most prevalent in prostate cancer, there has been tremendous diagnostic, prognostic and predictive interest in the ERG biomarker.

Ventana has ERG IVD assays available globally-- including assays for ERG protein via IHC (worldwide IVD) and assays for ERG gene rearrangements via Quantum Dot FISH (CE-IVD)--and the company is developing multivariate assays for novel clinical indications. These assays are available for use on the Ventana BenchMark line of fully-automated advanced staining instrumentation utilized by thousands of anatomic pathology labs worldwide.



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