Danvers, MA, July 5, 2011 -- Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. (CST) today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) that provides Pfizer with a worldwide non-exclusive license under the patent estates pooled by CST and Astellas Pharma, Inc. (Patent Estates) relating to EML4 anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). The fusion kinase EML4-ALK has been found to be present in a subset of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Pfizer and Abbott entered into a separate agreement in 2009 to develop and commercialize a diagnostic test designed to screen NSCLC tumors for the presence of rearrangements in the ALK gene. Pfizer will grant a sublicense to Abbott under the Patent Estates for Abbott to commercialize diagnostic products based on fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technology for ALK detection. Detection of ALK-positive NSCLC is necessary for selection of patients for treatment with Pfizer’s crizotinib, an investigational oral first-in-class agent that inhibits ALK.
Lung cancer is the world's leading cancer cause of death with more than 1.6 million new cases diagnosed each year. About 85 percent of lung cancer patients have the non-small-cell type and are usually diagnosed with advanced disease with a very low survival rate. Preliminary epidemiology suggests that approximately 3–5 percent of NSCLC patients have tumors positive for the ALK fusion gene.
CST, a leader in the development and manufacture of high performance antibody products for the medical research market, discovered the abnormal gene rearrangement EML4-ALK in NSCLC. The presence of the ALK fusion gene in lung cancer was also reported by a Japanese researcher in 2007.
“CST is very excited to enter into this agreement with Pfizer to potentially realize an important new paradigm in the management of lung cancer,” said Michael J. Comb, Ph.D., CST President and CEO. “We are pleased that we have such a focused cancer research effort that may potentially have such a positive impact on the diagnosis and treatment of ALK-positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients.”
Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. is dedicated to deliver the world’s highest quality activation-state antibody products to accelerate progress in biological research and personalized medicine. Through its proprietary monoclonal antibody technology (XMT®) and proteomics technology (PTMScan®), CST continues to be in the forefront of applied systems biology research, leading to increased understanding of biochemical aberrations that underlie important diseases, including cancer. For more information on CST visit www.cellsignal.com.
For more information please contact:
Fenel M. Eloi, M.B.A.
Cell Signaling Technology, Inc.
Chief Operating Officer