TrovaGene Partners with Leading Cancer Research Institutes - Analyst Blog
TrovaGene Inc. ( TROV ) recently announced a number of collaborations with eminent research institutes around the world. The tie-ups aim at evaluating the efficiency of the company's Precision Cancer Monitoring system in detecting and monitoring different mutations.
The extended partnership with Prague-based Genomac Research Institute will gather clinical data from two studies involving 300 lung cancer patients and 500 stage III-IV colorectal cancer patients. The studies will try to assess the effectiveness of the Precision Cancer Monitoring system in terms of early detection of oncogene mutations in both cancer types.
Meanwhile, TrovaGene's partnership with City of Hope targets to gather clinical data that will demonstrate the effectiveness of Precision Cancer Monitoring system in detecting EGFR mutations in approximately 75 lung cancer patients. The company also partnered with University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center to determine the accuracy of the system in detecting and monitoring EGFR mutations in lung cancer patients.
Data from two recent clinical studies presented at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancer Symposium held in San Francisco demonstrated the effectiveness of TrovaGene's Precision Cancer Monitoring system in detecting and quantifying KRAS mutations in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) obtained from colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients.
KRAS gene mutations are quite common in pancreatic, lung, and colorectal cancer. A high level of KRAS mutation suggests that EGFR-inhibiting drugs, such as cetuximab (Erbitux) and panitumumab (Vectibix), will not be effective in treating colorectal cancer. Hence, monitoring of KRAS mutation in colorectal and pancreatic cancer patients is of utmost importance to determine the right course of treatment.
Currently, TrovaGene is involved in a number of development programs for cancer monitoring applications related to pancreatic, melanoma (advanced skin cancer), colorectal and lung cancer. The company is also engaged in numerous clinical studies (more than 10 in 2015) and its growing relationship with leading cancer centers is a key growth catalyst over the long term.
Further, we believe TrovaGene has strong growth potential from geographic expansions, partnerships and kit manufacturing. Based on its urine-based High Risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Assay technology solution, the company holds significant growth prospects in the HPV testing market that is forecasted to be worth $9 billion by 2020.
However, higher investment in research & development and increasing competition will continue to weigh on the company's profitability in the near term. Other stocks in the industry include Amgen ( AMGN ), Celgene ( CELG ) and NewLink Genetics ( NLNK ).
TrovaGene presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).