Foundation Medicine and Sanofi Form Cancer Discovery Pact

1/10/12Follow @arleneweintraub

Back in May, Xconomy wrote that two-year-old Foundation Medicine was making friends in high places, and today the Cambridge, MA-based startup did it yet again. Foundation announced that it has teamed with French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) to identify genetic biomarkers for oncology drug candidates, and potentially develop companion diagnostics that would help match the right patients with the right drugs.

This is Foundation‘s fifth major partnership to date. The company also has research alliances with Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), Novartis (NYSE: NVS), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), as well as a partnership it has not disclosed.

Foundation’s technology platform uses high-throughput DNA sequencing to analyze cancerous tissues for alterations in more than 200 genes. The company was incubated by Boston-based Third Rock Ventures, and its founding academic advisors came from the Broad Institute, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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