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Siemens enters into master agreement with Pfizer
ERLANGEN, Germany—Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. has entered into a master collaboration agreement with Pfizer Inc. to design, develop and commercialize diagnostic tests for therapeutic products across Pfizer’s pipeline. Under the agreement, Siemens will be one of Pfizer’s collaboration partners to develop and provide in-vitro diagnostic tests for use in clinical studies and, potentially, eventual global commercialization with Pfizer products.
The partnership will leverage Siemens’ strengths in providing clinical diagnostic solutions for hospital and reference laboratories, specialty laboratories and point-of-care settings (including clinics and physician offices) to help enable diagnostics development.
“Companion diagnostics are an important enabler of targeted therapies for patients,” said John Hubbard, senior vice president and worldwide head of development operations at Pfizer. “This agreement with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics is another example of Pfizer’s commitment to develop new precision medicines to address unmet clinical needs.”
According to Zacks Investment Research, the deal between Siemens and Pfizer is a win-win situation for both the companies, noting: “By teaming up with Pfizer, Siemens is likely to achieve the goal of developing innovative solutions for better patient care and thus shape the future of diagnostic medicine in a much more effective manner.
“On the other hand, the agreement enhances Pfizer’s commitment to develop new precision medicines to address clinical needs and strengthens its market position,” Zacks concluded, largely echoing Hubbard’s own words.
Companion diagnostic tests are clinical tests linked to a specific drug or therapy intended to assist physicians in making more informed and personalized treatment decisions for their patients. When used in the drug development process, companion diagnostics may help pharmaceutical companies improve patient selection and treatment monitoring, determine the preferred therapy dosing for patients and establish a protocol to help maximize the treatment benefit for patients.
“Our relationship with Pfizer marks a major milestone in Siemens’ personalized medicine strategy,” commented Dr. Trevor Hawkins, senior vice president, strategy and innovations in the Diagnostics Division of Siemens Healthcare. “We look forward to collaborating with Pfizer to realize the goal of advancing innovative solutions that change the way patient care is delivered and, together, shape the future of diagnostic medicine.” Siemens declined to comment on the expected duration of the agreement, how many companion diagnostic tests are envisioned or what therapeutic areas might be the initial focus of test development.
The Siemens Clinical Laboratory (SCL), a “high-complexity,” cutting-edge testing laboratory focused on advancing personalized medicine, will develop the companion diagnostic tests under the master agreement.
Siemens Healthcare is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and considers itself a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics and medical information technology. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens seeks to help make healthcare faster, better and more cost effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 52,000 employees worldwide. In fiscal year 2013, Siemens Healthcare posted revenue of €13.6 billion ($18.4 billion) and profit of €2 billion ($2.7 billion). The Diagnostics Division itself generated an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization margin of 20 percent, according to published reports, making it one of Munich-based Siemens’ most profitable businesses in the last fiscal year.
Siemens announced similar development deals in 2012 with HIV drug maker ViiV Healthcare Ltd. and Tocagen Inc., a developer of an experimental brain tumor treatment, to create tests that will determine which patients will benefit from these therapies. Siemens’ partnership with ViiV Healthcare was to focus on clinical trials related to Celsentri/Selzentry (maraviroc), ViiV Healthcare’s novel CCR5 co-receptor antagonist for the treatment of CCR5-tropic HIV. This was to be followed by potential commercialization of a diagnostics test to assist in patient selection prior to physician treatment decisions.
The Siemens-Tocagen relationship was to focus on diagnostic tests to support clinical trials related to Tocagen’s unique viral gene therapy (Toca 511 and Toca FC) under investigation for the treatment of primary brain cancer, followed by potential commercialization of diagnostic tests for therapy monitoring.