Novartis Signs Agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific for Precision Medicine Development

November 24, 2015

Kaye Scholer advised longtime client Novartis on its long-term agreement with California-based Thermo Fisher Scientific to develop and commercialize a multi-marker, universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) oncology test. Under the terms of the agreement, announced November 18, the test will serve as a companion diagnostic (CDx) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) across multiple drug development programs.

As cancer research increasingly focuses on enabling the evolution of precision medicine—targeted therapies instead of “one-size-fits-all” drugs—NGS has the potential to enable the testing of multiple genes simultaneously from a single sample to help identify their unique genetic profile. This information can then be used to guide the appropriate therapy choice among multiple drug candidates.

Alessandro Riva, MD, global head of oncology development and medical affairs at Novartis Oncology, said the agreement and the future potential of NGS could further enhance the ability to connect patients to the right clinical trials and treatments. “It is our hope that we will be able to take advantage of this new technology as part of our growing lung cancer portfolio to offer even better outcomes for patients,” he said.

With products available in more than 180 countries around the world, Basel, Switzerland-headquartered Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals.

The Kaye Scholer team for this transaction was led by Corporate counsel Aaron Gardner with assistance from associate Marisa Silver.

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