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Biocartis and VIB Join Forces

Published: Monday, December 09, 2013
Last Updated: Sunday, December 08, 2013
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Company will develop a new CRC assay for MSI biomarker detection.

Biocartis and VIB have announced their exclusive license agreement on a novel panel of microsatellite instability (MSI) biomarkers for several cancers, in particular colorectal cancer (CRC).

This agreement will enable Biocartis to develop a unique and user-friendly assay, whereby MSI biomarkers can simply and rapidly be detected by Biocartis’ molecular diagnostics platform Idylla™.

Biocartis’ innovative platform and oncology assays
Biocartis develops the innovative user-friendly diagnostic platform Idylla™, for the molecular analysis of clinical samples.

Biocartis also develops a wide range of clinically relevant tests for various diagnostic areas primarily in the field of oncology. For the development of a new assay for microsatellite instability, Biocartis joins forces with the world-renowned research institute VIB.

Novel MSI biomarkers for colorectal, ovarian and other cancers
Microsatellite instability (MSI) is one of the premier molecular markers in CRC but is also important in ovarian, endometrial and gastric cancers. MSI evolves as a result of inactivation of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system and can be found in approximately 15% of all CRCs.

A completely novel set of MSI-markers is now introduced by Prof. Dr. Diether Lambrechts (Vesalius Research Center, VIB, KU Leuven) through whole genome sequencing of colon and endometrial cancers with MMR deficiency.

Prof. Lambrechts commented: “We were able to prove that our novel set of markers has a higher specificity and sensitivity than the current golden standard for MSI. I am very excited about this collaboration with Biocartis, as the clinical application of these markers will facilitate the improved detection of tumors with MSI.”

New colorectal cancer assay for simple and rapid detection
As a result of the license agreement with VIB, Biocartis will develop a new CRC assay for MSI biomarker detection. Today, MSI-testing is vastly underused due to the technical complexity of the current laboratory-developed assays. The availability of a simple and user-friendly assay on Biocartis’ Idylla™ platform has the potential to unlock greatly this considerable market.

Geert Maertens, CSO at Biocartis, commented: “This agreement is a nice example of valorization of new biomarkers from centers of excellence such as the VIB-lab of Prof. Lambrechts. Together with our core panel of colon cancer mutations and the recently in-licensed EGFR S492R mutation from Hospital del Mar, we are building a superior and unique menu for colon cancers assays on our Idylla™ platform.”

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