Molecular diagnostics company Biodesix Inc, Boulder, Colo, has entered into a biomarker research collaboration with Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Mass, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel approaches for cancer immunotherapy.


David Brunel, Biodesix.

The collaboration will focus on analysis of the circulating proteome of advanced melanoma patients treated with Checkmate’s investigational checkpoint inhibitor CMP-001 in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda), and will make use of Biodesix’s proprietary Diagnostic Cortex artificial intelligence-based biomarker discovery platform.1 The platform enables the development of clinically-relevant proteomic liquid biopsy tests.

CMP-001 is a first-in-class CpG-A oligonucleotide that activates the innate immune system via toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). The combination therapy with CMP-001 and pembrolizumab has the potential to improve the response rate of cancer patients receiving checkpoint inhibitor therapies and to increase the magnitude and duration of the patients’ antitumor responses, providing added clinical benefit.

Biodesix is developing new blood tests to identify patients who may benefit from immunotherapies. In addition to developing novel diagnostics independently, the company partners with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies such as Checkmate to develop companion diagnostics for use with therapeutic agents. A serum-based diagnostic test, if found to be associated with a favorable response to CMP-001, could prove to be clinically useful for identifying patients more likely to benefit from the combination therapy.

“Immunotherapies have been shown to offer great clinical benefit for some patients,” says David Brunel, CEO of Biodesix. “Our biomarker development platform facilitates the development of new therapies by ensuring that before they come to market, characteristics of the patients who can benefit the most from them have already been identified. We are happy to be providing this service for Checkmate and their promising combination therapy, CMP-001.”

Art Krieg, Checkmate.

Art Krieg, Checkmate.

“We’re looking forward to working with Biodesix on this research collaboration to identify patients more likely to benefit from the combination of CMP-001 and anti-PD-1 immunotherapy,” says Art Krieg, CEO of Checkmate.


  1. Weber JS, Sznol M, Sullivan RJ, et al. A serum protein signature associated with outcome after anti-PD-1 therapy in metastatic melanoma. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018;6(1):79–86; doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.cir-17-0412.