As part of the collaboration between Merck KGaA and Pfizer to jointly develop and commercialize avelumab, the two global pharmaceutical giants announced that they have a collaboration agreement with Dako, an Agilent Technologies company headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, for the development of a potential companion diagnostic test (CDx).  Avelumab is an investigational fully human monoclonal antibody against programmed death-ligand 1 (anti-PD-L1).  Studies suggest that avelumab can potentially enable the activation of T cells and empower the adaptive immune system to fight cancer via antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity mechanism.  The CDx aims to assess PD-L1 protein expression levels in tumor tissue and its microenvironment, including tumor-associated immune cells with the ultimate goal of achieving precision medicine.  This investigational CDx is part of the protocols in ongoing clinical trials involving avelumab according to the press release.

 

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http://news.emdgroup.com/N/0/4E38C0A5C36F641CC1257ECA0052A1A4/$File/Alliance_Dako_US.pdf