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Vela Diagnostics, National Cancer Center of Singapore to Develop CDx for EGFR-TKI Therapies

NEW YORK – Vela Diagnostics said on Thursday that it has partnered with the National Cancer Center of Singapore to develop a molecular diagnostic assay to predict patient response to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, or EGFR-TKI, therapies.

As part of the collaboration, Vela is developing the assay, after which NCCS researchers will evaluate its efficacy in a clinical trial to test the response of patients to EGFR-TKIs. These will include patients with head and neck cancers, as well as types of lung, esophageal, bladder, and cervical cancers.

Daniel Tan, associate professor in the medical oncology division at NCCS, will lead the trial. The collaboration will be supported by the Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council, under its Clinician-Scientist Individual Research Grant, and the Singapore Translational Cancer Consortium.

"The research that directed the assay development was conducted at NCCS, the assay is now being developed by Vela Diagnostics, and the validation of the assay will be done at NCCS, where we have the infrastructure and experience to conduct robust clinical trials," Gopal Iyer, head of the medical sciences division at NCCS, said in a statement. "We hope this will help clinicians advise their patients on the best treatment option for their cancers."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Vela is committed to developing diagnostics that aid therapy selection," Charlie Lee, head of research and development at Vela Diagnostics, said in a statement. "With our proven expertise in assay development and track record in regulatory approvals, we are able to develop screening assays or companion diagnostics."