Beckman Coulter Announces Licensing Option Agreements for Cancer Genes with Johns Hopkins University
News Oct 31, 2007
The first agreement covers 200 genes linked to breast and colon cancer, discovered in a landmark study published last year by researchers at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Beckman Coulter Agencourt subsidiary's Genomic Services performed the sequencing for this study, which was co-authored by James Hartigan, an Agencourt project manager.
The second agreement covers sequencing services and options to license genomic intellectual property from current studies on six additional cancers.
"These unprecedented agreements put Beckman Coulter in a unique, leading-edge position in the molecular diagnostics field," commented Bruce Wallace, vice president of Beckman Coulter's Molecular Diagnostics Business Center.
"Beckman Coulter will have the exclusive option to license any of the genetic mutations discovered in these studies that have diagnostic potential. Given the leadership role Johns Hopkins is playing in cancer genetics, our relationship with them will help propel us to the forefront of this rapidly developing field," Wallace continued.
With these new agreements, Beckman Coulter will have first access to Johns Hopkins cancer study data. The company's molecular diagnostics assay group is already evaluating the breast and colon cancer genes.
"The success of our strategic plan is dependent in part on our development of a robust molecular diagnostics business," Wallace continued. "We are already in the process of moving our research genomics technologies into platforms for diagnostic use. Building content, or approved tests for that platform, from research such as the John Hopkins cancer genomics studies, will enhance our success."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.