Collaboration between Bayer Saudi Arabia LLC, OncoDNA and Tamkin Al-Seha Medical to test cancer patients for rare NTRK mutations in Saudi Arabia

NTRK biomarker testing to identify patients most likely to benefit from treatment with targeted TRK inhibitors therapies.

OncoDNA, Tamkin Al-Seha Medical and Bayer Saudi Arabia announced today a new partnership to broaden access to Neurotrophic Tyrosine Receptor Kinase (NTRK) biomarker testing and identify patients eligible for treatment with TRK inhibitors therapies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Bayer has introduced TRK inhibitor therapy to treat adult and pediatric patients with advanced solid tumors that display positive NTRK fusion in Saudi Arabia.

During this initial phase of the partnership, 1,000 patients with advanced, metastatic tumors across all cancer types will be tested for NTRK fusions. NTRK fusions are more commonly found in rare cancer types, such as secretory carcinoma of the breast or salivary gland and infantile fibrosarcoma, but they can also occur at lower prevalence in many more common cancer types including glioma, melanoma and carcinomas of the lung, thyroid and colon.

The presence of the gene fusion in the tumor specimen will be detected and confirmed with OncoDNA biomarker tests. These tests use next-generation sequencing (NGS) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) to specifically identify cancer biomarkers associated with therapies.  

“OncoDNA is extremely proud to have been selected by Bayer to screen cancer patients in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for NTRK gene alteration. Our mission is to evaluate for each screened patient the potential benefit of treating their cancer and through this project we are going one step further to making precision medicine a reality,” said Bernard Courtieu, CEO of OncoDNA. “The results of the biomarker testing will be shared whith the patient’s oncologist on OncoKDM, a secure online platform that turns molecular data into actionable clinical recommendations.”

Tamkin Al-Seha Medical, the authorized distributor of OncoDNA in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, added:  “We believe that we should localize the latest science of precision medicine outcomes through engaging the international diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies’ know-how of R&D and make it possible for patients in the region. We are glad to be part of this initiative along with Bayer Pharmaceuticals Saudi Arabia for patients support and our commitment is to deliver the latest diagnostic solutions with one of the precision medicine leader in Europe, which is OncoDNA to the local market. We expect that TRK gene fusion panel testing will give new hope for cancer patients.”

Hussein El Hakim, Country Division Head at Bayer Saudi Arabia, commented: “Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. A key focus at Bayer is on innovative precision oncology treatments, with an approved TRK inhibitor exclusively designed to treat rare tumors that have a NTRK gene fusion, the oncogenic driver of many tumor growth and spread. The areas of focus reflect the company’s approach to clinical research & new targeted precision medicinal products, which prioritizes targets and pathways with the potential to impact the way that cancer is treated. We are excited to embark on such collaboration with OncoDNA and Tamkin Al-Seha Medical in Saudi Arabia for the benefit of cancer patients in need of targeted therapies within the kingdom.”

ABOUT ONCODNA

OncoDNA is a theranostic and genomic company with renown expertise in precision oncology. The company provides comprehensive testing of cancer biomarkers (DNA, RNA and proteins) on solid and liquid biopsies as well NGS data interpretation services to oncologists, research institutes and biopharmaceutical companies across the globe. The company headquarters are based in Belgium, and its two entities – IntegraGen, a company specializing in the decryption of the human genome and Biosequence – are headquartered in France and Spain, respectively. The group employs approx. 115 employees in 9 countries, works with an international network of 35 distributors and collaborates with one European-based and one US-based subcontracted accredited laboratories.

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Koenraad EYCKEN
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