Verastem, a healthcare products company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced a new deal with LabCorp, a clinical laboratory company based in Burlington, North Carolina. According to a press release by Verastem, LabCorp will help Verastem validate diagnostic biomarkers and other companion diagnostics for its in-development mesothelioma treatment, named VS-6063.
Verastem hopes that the new deal with LabCorp will accelerate the research, development and approval process of relevant biomarkers. Relevant biomarkers will be used in a diagnostic role in clinical trials of VS-6063 for the treatment of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.
As of now, Verastem has completed some studies to determine which patients will respond most positively to VS-6063, a focal adhesion kinase inhibitor. This process may be beneficial in laying groundwork for future diagnostics.
Dan Paterson is the vice president of Verastem. In prepared remarks, he said, "We believe the approximately 50% of mesothelioma patients lacking Merlin may be particularly responsive to treatment with FAK inhibitors.” He continued, "LabCorp is the perfect partner to progress our research on Merlin into a companion diagnostic for VS-6063."
The new deal with Verastem will also allow LabCorp to expand on its primary mission statement of expanding its presence in personalized medicine. Like Quest Diagnostics, a shifting global marketplace is decreasing clinical demand for testing services. The new deal may help LabCorp regain ground that it has lost over the past few years.
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