Aveo Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing cancer therapeutics, has reported the issuance of US Patent Nos. 7,615,353 and 7,736,861.

Aveo said that the patents cover two different diagnostic tests for identifying human patients likely to respond to treatment with tivozanib, company’s selective inhibitor of VEGF receptors 1, 2 and 3, which is currently being evaluated in a global Phase 3 clinical trial, TIVO-1, in patients with renal cell cancer (RCC).

Due to its potency and specificity, Aveo believes tivozanib may enable optimal inhibition of the VEGF pathway, while minimizing side effects associated with off-target activity. Such a profile may enable tivozanib to be more readily combined with standard chemotherapy as well as other targeted therapies, potentially increasing the breadth of its clinical utility.

The first of the patents covers a diagnostic test based on a 42-gene expression signature in tumor samples. The second patent covers a diagnostic test based on measurement of the abundance of a single protein, known as CD68, in tumor samples. Both tests can be performed using fresh or preserved tumor biopsy material.

Aveo’s use of its genetically engineered mouse models to discover the human-relevant biomarkers demonstrates the potential of Aveo’s preclinical tumor models in human response prediction.

Tuan Ha-Ngoc, president and CEO of Aveo, said: “We believe these tests reflect different aspects of the same underlying tumor biology and have potential for development as companion diagnostics in a broad range of tumor types. Ongoing research involving these tests will help Aveo make informed decisions as we explore the use of these biomarkers in our clinical programs.

“Predictive biomarkers and companion diagnostics are likely to play an important role in the future success of targeted oncology therapeutics. We believe that, with our proprietary bioinformatics tools and Human Response Platform technology, Aveo is at the forefront of predictive biomarker discovery.”