In recent years the treatment paradigm for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) has evolved in complexity to include newly developed targeted therapeutics. In 2004 bevacizumab (bvz) [Avastin] became the first anti-angiogenic drug to be licensed in malignant disease, based on the results of a randomised trial in advanced metastatic colorectal cancer. Nevertheless, over the past six year period emerging data now indicates that bvz fails to produce an enduring clinical response in a high proportion of patients. Delivery of the drug as part of a combination treatment regimen in mCRC elicits transitory improvements in the form of tumour stasis or shrinkage. Inevitably however, the tumours begin to re-grow and the disease progresses. It is now universally agreed that the future use of bvz in mCRC (and other cancers) is likely to be greatly influenced by the availability of predictive biomarkers to allow selection of patients who will attain the greatest benefit. The ANGIOPREDICT paradigm relies on a modular platform for the integrated discovery and validation of predictive pharmacogenomic biomarkers for combination bvz therapy in mCRC. Through initiation of a multi-centre clinical trial, early discovery findings will be validated for markers of Intrinsic Resistance to therapy. Parallel optimization of companion in vitro diagnostic tests (IVDs) through exploitation of proven SME development and validation strategies will ensure a cross-sectoral benefit to the cancer patient, prescribing physician and more broadly, across European and global public health networks. Crucially, leading SME partners will expand business portfolios into a well-defined market, progress novel intellectual property and access several in-licensing opportunities. ANGIOPREDICT uniquely unites world-class molecular diagnostic biomarker discovery SMEs with leading clinical and academic entities to identify a new generation of individualized methods for predicting response to combination bvz therapy.
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