Major pharmaceutical companies are developing breakthrough treatments that use the body’s own immune system to fight lung cancer. Agilent is collaborating with several of these pharmaceutical companies to develop relevant diagnostic tests, to identify which patients may be suitable for such treatment.
Lung cancer is the most fatal form of cancer, accounting for one in five cancer deaths globally. Current treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may improve survival, but rarely cure the disease. Now, scientists are developing treatments that harness the immune system to fight lung cancer.
Previously, immunotherapy was only considered effective against melanoma (skin) and renal (kidney) cancer. But recent studies have shown very promising results against non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). These new treatments work by blocking proteins that can suppress the body’s immune system, including PD-1 (programmed death cell protein 1) and PD-L1 (programmed death-ligand 1).
Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) have both introduced new immunotherapy antibodies that target PD-1. BMS’s Nivolumab (Opdivo®), previously approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of melanoma, has now been approved for the treatment of squamous NSCLC that has failed chemotherapy. Merck’s Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), also previously approved for melanoma, has now been designated as a “Breakthrough Therapy” for the treatment of NSCLC.
In conjunction, Agilent’s Dako subsidiary is developing companion diagnostic (CDx) tests that detect PD-L1 expression. CDx has the potential to make healthcare more effective and to optimize treatment, by helping to identify the specific patients who should be considered for a particular treatment. Agilent has CDx collaboration agreements with several pharmaceutical companies, including BMS, Merck, Eli Lilly and Pfizer.
For more information go to:
- Lung Cancer (Cancer Research Institute)
- Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: Making Immunotherapy a Reality for the Treatment of Lung Cancer
- The Next Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitors: PD-1/PD-L1 Blockade in Melanoma
- FDA Approves Opdivo (nivolumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Previously Treated Metastatic Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
- Merck Announces Submission of Supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) to U.S. FDA for KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
- Dako, an Agilent Technologies Company, and ONO PHARMACEUTICAL CO., LTD. Announce Collaboration on Development of PD-L1 Companion Diagnostic Test for Investigational Cancer Drug Opdivo® (Nivolumab)
- Dako, an Agilent Technologies Company, and U.S.-based Merck & Co. to Collaborate on Companion Diagnostic Test for Analysis of Tumor PD-L1 Levels
- Dako to Collaborate with Merck on Development of Companion Diagnostics for Cancer Treatment
- Dako Enters Collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company for Development of Companion Diagnostics
- Dako to Collaborate with Pfizer on Companion Diagnostics