NextGen Group Plc has completed the establishment of its new diagnostics subsidiary company (NextGen Sciences Dx Inc.).
The board of NextGen believes that the creation of the diagnostics business as a separate corporate entity is an important milestone in the transformation of the Group from solely providing outsourced research work to owning a portfolio of valuable intellectual property.
The new diagnostics company is focused on discovering biomarkers that can lead to the development of tests for Central Nervous System disorders, such as Dementia, Parkinson's disease and Traumatic Brain Injury.
The board of NextGen believes that focusing its biomarker work on Central Nervous System disorders has a number of advantages:
• There a relatively few companies competing in this area, with no well defined existing markers for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's and Huntington's.
• Demand for biomarkers within the field would be high as there are no once and for all "cures" for diseases in this area and biomarkers that can assist in drug development will have significant impact.
The diagnostic projects under development will allow patients to be tested for these disorders and for changes in their condition.
Clinicians and pharmaceutical companies will also be able to use these tests to see whether drugs being used, or trialled, are effective in treating these disorders.
NextGen expects to make progress on the filing of intellectual property in the next six months.
NextGen Sciences Dx Inc. has been established in Boston, USA which was chosen for its geographical proximity to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies who will provide both collaborative and client potential.
Barry McAleer, PhD, CEO of NextGen Sciences Inc says: "The last 12 months have been about us proving our technology and refining our methodology. The fact that we are now discussing opportunities to file for our first patents based upon data from our assays shows how far we have come in so little time."
"We now have a research and development engine that can enable us to provide accurate and highly specific diagnostic biomarkers and assays. We are selecting projects that are in markets with substantial financial potential."
"The next 12 months will be about using the technology that we have developed to make further biological discoveries, to secure the intellectual property that we are developing and to start monetizing output."
Klaus Rosenau, Chairman, of NextGen Group Plc, explains: "We will pursue development programmes of the biomarkers as partnerships with key scientists, clinicians and selected pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Just looking in any detail at the possible demand for these biomarkers from drug companies running clinical trials and you start to see the potential - there are currently 300 "active" dementia clinical trials globally that could benefit hugely from biomarkers that indicate drug efficacy."
NextGen uses mass spectrometry (a technique for specifically identifying and quantifying biomarkers in samples) as its core technology to discover highly specific protein biomarkers that can be used for diagnostic purposes.
NextGen has already launched a number of "discovery" assays in the Central Nervous System field that measure the presence of proteins that might be impacted by Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's diseases.
These assays provide a platform for the discovery of highly specific and accurate biomarkers that can address critical questions in CNS diseases.
In 2010, the total global market for biomarkers was an estimated $13.5 billion and is expected to grow to nearly $33.3 billion by the end of 2015 (BCC Research).