Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 09, 2012

Siemens Annnounces New Partnership with ViiV Healthcare and Tocagen

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has announced a new partnership with ViiV Healthcare and Tocagen for new diagnostics tests for HIV and other diseases.

“Siemens' presence in the emerging companion diagnostics market enables us to leverage our innovation capabilities and deep clinical knowledge to help improve pharmaceutical drug safety and effectiveness," Michael Reitermann, CEO, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics said. "More so, it helps align Siemens with new classes of therapies tailored to the individual that hold the promise of improving patient care and delivering on the goal of personalized medicine."

ViiV Healthcare is a company established by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, specializing in HIV treatment. The FDA approved a generic version of its Combivir HIV drug last year.

Siemens is also partnering with Tocagen to develop new diagnostic tests for brain cancer, which are still subject to FDA approval. The test will involve Tocagen’s gene therapy efforts.

The American Cancer Society says that brain and central nervous system cancers will account for almost 23,000 of new cancer cases and over 13,000 cancer deaths in 2012. Around 10 to 30 percent of people with brain cancer will have their cancer metastasize to other parts of the body.

The partnership centers around Celsentri/Selzentry (maraviroc) a new drug ViiV Healthcare has developed to treat CCR5-tropic HIV. They are also working on a new diagnostics test for screening for HIV.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 33 million people worldwide were HIV-positive. The same year, 2.6 million new infections were reported and 1.8 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.

"Our partnership with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics is a valuable part of our commitment to addressing patient needs through developing innovative treatment approaches," Dr. John Pottage, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for ViiV Healthcare said. "Celsentri/Selzentry is an important treatment option for people living with CCR5-tropic HIV and we continue to support the evolution of tropism testing to provide physicians with accurate, accessible and affordable companion diagnostics."              

Both of these partnerships may help all of the companies involved use gene therapy to allow doctors to tailor their treatments of both HIV/AIDS and brain cancer to each patient’s specific problems.

Siemens has a CLIA-certified clinical lab in Berkeley, Calif. that can allow for the development of a wide variety of clinical tests.

Both Viiv Healthcare and Tocagen are conducting clinical trials for new treatments in HIV and brain cancer, respectively.

Siemens Healthcare is also part of a digital mammography market that’s expected to exceed $1.3 billion by 2017.

David Delony is a Bay Area expatriate living in Ashland, Oregon. He combines his lifelong love of both words and technology in his career as a freelance writer. David holds a B.A. in communication from California State University, East Bay.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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