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Contract Research

Almac Group Awarded U.S. Patent for Ground-breaking “DDRD” Assay

Published 05 July 2017 | By Almac

Almac Group’s Diagnostics business unit announced today it was granted intellectual property protection for its DNA Damage Response Deficiency (DDRD) assay.

Almac's molecular assay detects a subgroup of patients with defective FA/BRCA pathway, who are more susceptible to DNA damage and therefore likely beneficiaries of DNA-damage therapeutic agents such as anthracyclines and PARP inhibitors. Furthermore, DNA damage leads to the activation of a specific innate immune response pathway (cGAS/STING/TBK1/IRF3) and activation of immune checkpoint targets (such as PDL1 and IDO1), hence confirming the assay may also be useful to predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Almac gained confirmation for this in a study published by the Journal of National Cancer Institute (JNCI) last year.

"Almac has been at the forefront of RNA based genomic innovation for over 10 years and this patent is expected to be the first of many in the US and EU to protect our innovative pipeline of predictive tests." said Professor Paul Harkin, President and Managing Director, Almac Diagnostics. "The biology behind the DDRD assay is now well established and the first clinical validation for predicting response to DNA damaging agents in breast cancer has already been published in JNCI. Further validation is planned so that all its applications can be commercially available, thereby ensuring the potential benefits are available to patients."