GE Global Research, GE’s research and development organization, and GE Healthcare have signed a three-year collaborative research agreement with Eli Lilly and Company to discover and develop advanced in vitro diagnostic assays that may predict cancer treatment response to targeted therapies.
“This partnership is not about using existing GE technology. It’s a new way to look at bioscopies and disease,” said Michael Montalto, MD, head of molecular imaging and diagnostics advanced technologies for Global Research.
The Indianapolis-based Lilly is currently developing targeted cancer therapeutics, which are in both early- and late-stage clinical development, while GE is developing advanced multiplexed tissue-based assays and image analysis tools that can measure multiple biological pathways.
GE said that the goal of the collaboration is to discover key protein and gene signatures that will predict the likelihood that a medication will be effective in treating certain cancers. The signatures can then be used to pre-select patients who are good candidates for the targeted therapy.
The initial focus of the research will be geared towards the disease, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will provide GE with access to clinical tissue samples from unidentified patients enrolled in Lilly’s clinical trials. In turn, Lilly will have access to GE’s technologies in automated tissue-based image analysis and molecular reagents, which can be used during drug development in evaluating the effectiveness of its candidates and potentially select patients for future trials.