A Medical Device Daily

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp; Burlington, North Carolina) and Vanda Pharmaceuticals (Rockville, Maryland) a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of clinical-stage product candidates for central nervous system disorders, reported an exclusive alliance to develop and commercialize a series of diagnostic tests for genetic markers identified by Vanda in the course of its clinical development of Fanapta (iloperidone), a novel atypical antipsychotic drug candidate under FDA review for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Vanda has identified a series of pharmacogenetic markers during its development of Fanapta, and the company continues its pioneering work in this area. LabCorp will be Vanda's exclusive commercialization partner for tests for genetic markers of the Fanapta program.

"This collaboration is an example of our commitment to the advancement of personalized medicine and represents a successful translation of a research based assay into a valuable diagnostic test," said Andrew Conrad, PhD, chief scientist and global head of clinical trials for LabCorp. "This relationship is consistent with our focus on companion diagnostics."

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling mental disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans and more than 1% of the world's adult population. Patients suffering from schizophrenia exhibit a range of symptoms, including: positive symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions; negative symptoms, such as emotional withdrawal; and cognitive symptoms associated with significant impairment in social and occupational functioning.

LabCorp is a pioneer in commercializing new diagnostic technologies and said it is the first in its industry to embrace genomic testing.