AstraZeneca plc considered location and development stage of its lung cancer products when choosing partners for their companion diagnostics: a long-time collaborator to address local market needs for a mature product, and a more recent partner with global clinical and commercial reach for a pipeline successor.

Last week, AstraZeneca announced a deal with Qiagen N.V. to develop and commercialize a non-invasive companion diagnostic for Iressa gefitinib, which will help solve the problem of identifying appropriate patients for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor when biopsy material is unavailable or unsuitable for analysis. The deal gives Qiagen the chance to get EMA approval of its plasma-based EGFR test as a companion diagnostic, and long-term commercialization assistance.