NEW YORK – Danaher subsidiary Leica Biosystems and Leap Therapeutics announced on Monday that they have entered an agreement to develop a companion diagnostic test to detect Dickkopf-related protein 1, a protein often found in cancer.
DKK1 enables tumor cells to suppress the immune system and leads to unregulated growth. Overexpression of the protein is also associated with poor survival in cancer patients.
The test will be used to support clinical development of Leap Therapeutics' anti-DKK1 cancer therapy, DKN-01, which is currently being studied in clinical trials, the companies said in a statement. DKN-01 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets DKK1, and Leap Therapeutics is currently studying the treatment as part of a combination therapy regimen in a Phase II clinical trial in patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer, the companies said.
Leica Biosystems' test will use Bio-Techne's RNAscope technology on Leica's BOND-III Automated Staining System, which the companies said allows for detection of the protein with high sensitivity and specificity.