Serametrix has announced the commercial launch of a serum test for measuring serum antibodies to the important tumor antigen NY-ESO-1. The test will be offered as a service to drug companies and clinicians for correlative studies, monitoring and potentially predicting patient responses to cancer treatments. The announcement follows last year’s partnership and licensing agreement between Serametrix and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in New York.
“NY-ESO-1 has been shown to be expressed not only in melanoma but also in cancers of the lung, breast, ovarian, prostate and others. The commercial launch of this assay is an exciting milestone towards the Serametrix goal of providing more advanced methods for predicting and monitoring drug response in cancer.”
NY-ESO-1 belongs to a class of important tumor antigens known as Cancer/Testis (CT) Antigens. Like other CT antigens, NY-ESO-1 expression in adult non-germline tissue is limited to tumors. Not only are these antigens attractive drug targets but also their corresponding antibodies in serum have been shown to correlate with clinical events in cancer patients.
Applications for the test include monitoring cancer patients following drug treatment. Studies have shown that NY-ESO-1 antibodies correlate with NY-ESO-1 expression in tumors, and that frequency of NY-ESO-1 antibody and antigen expression increase in patients with advanced disease. The test may also be valuable for patient selection in clinical trials. For example, it has been proposed that melanoma patients with elevated immunity to NY-ESO-1 prior to treatment are more likely to respond favorably to CTLA-4-based therapy. The new service from Serametrix will enable exploration of the assay’s wider potential in other cancer drugs.
The ELISA-based test provides users a quantitative measure of serum antibody to NY-ESO-1 and was developed in collaboration with the LICR. The assay has been adapted to meet industry standards and customer samples will be processed in a dedicated facility at Serametrix’s California site. In a statement, Dr. Henry Hepburne-Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Serametrix, said, “NY-ESO-1 has been shown to be expressed not only in melanoma but also in cancers of the lung, breast, ovarian, prostate and others. The commercial launch of this assay is an exciting milestone towards the Serametrix goal of providing more advanced methods for predicting and monitoring drug response in cancer.”