Protagen AG and Inova Diagnostics have signed a semi-exclusive license agreement for BICD2, a novel autoantigen and the first proprietary biomarker discovered by Protagen employing its SeroTag® technology. Anti-BICD2 autoantibodies are found in approximately 30% of patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc), and are associated with a subform of SSc.
Beyond the classical markers such as anti-Centromere antibodies and anti-Scl70 antibodies, anti-BICD2 antibodies are most abundant in SSc patients. The license agreement will allow Inova Diagnostics to add the novel biomarker to their portfolio of connective tissue disease (CTD) reagents to help improve diagnosis of this debilitating disease.
Michael Mahler, Vice President, Research and Development at Inova Diagnostics, commented, “We have always been intrigued by the SeroTag® technology and have monitored its continuous progress over the last few years. We believe that there are many areas within autoimmunity that would benefit from additional biomarkers to close the diagnostic gap. Anti-BICD2, the novel marker from Protagen, provides the means to help fill that gap in SSc. The addition of anti-BICD2 to our CTD offerings may increase the overall accuracy of diagnosis, and may ultimately add to the understanding of the etiology of this disease.”
Stefan Müllner, Protagen CEO, adds, “This agreement is further confirmation of the high clinical and commercial value of our SeroTag® technology and its potential for continuous delivery of relevant, novel biomarkers. We are very proud that Inova Diagnostics has licensed BICD2 to complement its existing diagnostic assay portfolio, and look forward to further licensing deals. Furthermore, the liaison with the global market leader will guarantee fast market entry with a clear benefit for SSc patients.”