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Skuldtech Identifies New Predictive Markers for Pancreatic Cancer Survival Resulting From Its Proprietary Technology Platform

11/6/2012 9:41:44 AM

Montpellier, France, November 6, 2012 - Skuldtech, a genomic and pharmacogenomic company specialized in developing diagnostic tests, announces today it has successfully used its technological platform to identify new biomarkers during a phase III clinical trial. This discovery made it possible to file a marketing authorization application with the regulatory authorities.

These survival markers were identified during a clinical study, whose purpose was to evaluate the therapeutic efficiency of a new treatment combining AB Science's masitinib and gemcitabine, compared to the current standard pancreatic cancer treatment of gemcitabine only. Patents have been filed to protect the markers, which are also associated with the masitinib marketing authorization application already filed with regulatory authorities by AB Science.

Based on its technological approach associating gene sequencing with its proprietary bioinformatic tools and gene profiling studies (transcriptome) on blood samples, Skuldtech has identified several sets of blood biomarkers associated with the different groups of patients treated in this phase III clinical trial.

To reach this objective, the first part of the protocol was to collect a blood sample from each patient before treatment, establish its transcriptome and associate it with the patient's clinical progress. Then significant bioinformatic and biostatistical processing enabled the isolation of biological markers associated with each patient group, with patients grouped according to their overall survival. These biomarkers will be used for developing future diagnostics that will help choose the treatment and establish clinical prognostics for patients.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that new biological markers have been discovered during a phase III clinical trial. These markers are both specific to the drug being developed and associated with positive patient response," said Didier Ritter, CEO, Skuldtech.

"This research confirms the quality of our technological approach based on transcriptome analysis performed by gene sequencing combined with our proprietary bioinformatic tools and our genomic-level knowledge of blood," said David Piquemal, scientific director at Skuldtech. "This will make our technology highly attractive for pharmaceutical companies interested in seeing their phase III clinical trials succeed."

Based on the same technological approach, Skuldtech also filed two new patents in 2012. The first, filed in February, is related to predictive blood markers for four-year survival in patients with Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). The second, filed in September, is related to predictive blood markers for an inflammatory joint disease.

About Skuldtech

Skuldtech is an innovative biotechnology company specialized in the discovery of new biological markers and the development of new diagnostic tests. Biomarkers identified and selected by the company's scientific team are derived from its technology platform. The technology platform associates high-throughput sequencing, quantitative RT-PCR, proprietary bioinformatics and biostatistics programs and is the result of 13 years of development and technical expertise in analyzing gene expression. Leveraging its unique scientific expertise analyzing gene expression in blood cells and whole blood, Skuldtech focuses personalized medicine and the development of companion and patient stratification tests to meet the increasing need for new treatments that are better adapted to patient profiles. Founded in 1999, Skuldtech is located at the Montpellier Biopole campus in Montpellier, France. The company is a member of the Euromediag/Eurobiomed, Canceropole Grand Sud Ouest (Cancer Centre of Southwest France) and Biomeridies clusters.

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