Quest Diagnostics, Matrix-Bio announce licensing agreement
Agreement covers metabolic biomarkers for breast cancer recurrence detection
FORT WAYNE, In.—Diagnostics company Matrix-Bio, Inc. and QuestDiagnostics have inked an exclusive global licensing and marketing agreementfor metabolomic biomarkers. Per the terms of the agreement, Quest Diagnosticsgains the rights to use the biomarkers for future, potential development of atest that can help with detecting breast cancer recurrence. No financial termswere disclosed.
Quest Diagnostics intends to develop and validate the test at itsQuest Diagnostics Nichols Institute research, development and laboratory centerin San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Quest Diagnostics and Matrix-Bio will co-fundclinical studies in order to determine the clinical value of the test using thebiomarkers. Should the test be validated, Quest Diagnostics will offer itsversion of the test through its San Juan Capistrano facility and market it inthe United States and other countries. Quest Diagnostics also gains an optionto pursue a regulatory pathway for an in-vitro diagnostic version ofthe test.
"Since 2006 when we first started working on metabolite profilingas a cancer-detection tool, we have had the ideal partner in mind to help bringthis potentially life-saving technology to those at risk of cancer," said DanRaftery, Ph.D., founder and chief scientific officer of Matrix-Bio, in a pressrelease. "Licensing the biomarkers to Quest Diagnostics is a big step towardour goal to make improved and more efficient testing methods for diagnosingmany forms of cancer available to physicians and patients. Quest has thepeople, processes and presence to bring a clinically valuable breast cancerrecurrence test to market, and with it, hope to breast cancer survivors whowant more accurate cancer-recurrence monitoring."
Matrix-Bio's approach of focusing on metabolite profiling consistsof the identification and measurement of changes in "important small-moleculemetabolite species," the company notes on its website. This method has thepotential to detect cancer, heart disease, diabetes and conditions such aspreeclampsia, in addition to its promise for determining disease recurrence.Matrix-Bio's technique is a combination of mass spectrometry and nuclearmagnetic resonance spectroscopy for the identification of metabolic changesthat occur in cancer cells.
In October 2010, Cancer Research published Matrix-Bio'sfindings, in which the company revealed that using its metabolite-profilingmethods, Matrix-Bio's VeraMarker-BCR blood test was capable of accuratelypredicting breast cancer recurrence an average of 13 months before clinicaldiagnosis.
"Our relationship with Matrix-Bio builds on Quest's leadership inoncology and mass spectrometry, and moves us forward in the emerging field ofmetabolomic clinical diagnostics," Jay Wohlgemuth, M.D., senior vice presidentof Science and Innovation for Quest Diagnostics, commented in a statement. "Italso delivers on a central tenet of our strategy to deliver a robust menu ofservices, in this case for breast cancer, which spans the continuum of care,from predisposition genetic testing to post-surgical monitoring."
SOURCE: Matrix-Bio press release