Transgenomic Licenses Liquid Biopsy Technology to University of Melbourne
News Sep 18, 2015
Transgenomic, Inc. has announced that it has granted a license to the University of Melbourne to use its Multiplexed ICE COLD-PCR™ (MX-ICP) technology for a number of research and clinical applications. MX-ICP is a high sensitivity DNA amplification technology that allows the detection of mutations in multiple genes from either tumors or any liquid sample, such as blood or urine. The first commercial license follows a 2014 research agreement between Transgenomic and the University of Melbourne for the conduct of clinical validation studies of the MX-ICP technology.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Melbourne University receives an exclusive license in Australia to Transgenomic’s new EGFR liquid biopsy cancer assays. The four licensed tests detect specific actionable mutations associated with sensitivity or resistance to targeted drugs used for colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer in many sample types but mainly in blood/plasma. The assays are highly accurate and provide precision detection levels down to as low as 0.01% from small amounts of blood or tissue samples. They will be available to researchers and also for diagnostic use through Melbourne University’s National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) certified laboratory. Transgenomic will sell the EGFR kits to the University and will also receive royalties. In addition, Transgenomic will partner with Melbourne University to provide Biomarker Identification services to biopharmaceutical companies.
Prof. Paul Waring, Chair of Pathology at the University of Melbourne, Head of Molecular Pathology at Melbourne Health and Director of the Centre for Translational Pathology at Melbourne University, commented, “We have been working with the MX-ICP liquid biopsy technology for about a year and have been very favorably impressed with its accuracy, exceptional sensitivity and overall utility. We are delighted we will now be able to put it to work for our cancer patients and, in partnership with Transgenomic, to drug developers here in Australia.”
Paul Kinnon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transgenomic, noted “The University of Melbourne and Prof. Waring are recognized leaders in molecular pathology and cancer genomics, so we are especially pleased to award this first commercial MX-ICP license to them for use in Australia. Melbourne University is an innovator in patient care and cancer treatment, and the agreement has the added benefit of providing us with the opportunity for additional validation of our MX-ICP technology and our new liquid biopsy diagnostic assays in partnership with a top tier cancer institution. This is the first of what we expect to be many licenses worldwide for our MX-ICP technology.”
Multiplexed ICE COLD-PCR achieves its ultra-high sensitivity through selective amplification of mutant DNA. The result is up to a 500-fold increase in sensitivity in identifying mutations with the most precise sequence alteration detection rates available–down to 0.01% from plasma samples as small as 4 ml, making it possible to obtain accurate and sensitive detection of mutations using either liquid or solid tissue specimens.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.