bioMérieux and ExonHit have announced that they signed an agreement to extend their collaboration for six years for the discovery and development of blood diagnostics in the area of early cancer detection.
These diagnostic tests should enable the detection of cancer from a simple blood sample and at a very early stage, before clinical symptoms appear.
The alliance between bioMérieux and ExonHit was initiated in 2003 in connection with the development of a diagnostic test for breast cancer.
The scope of the collaboration has now been enlarged to other types of cancers, including colon, prostate and lung cancers, for which a blood or tissue diagnostic is needed.
The objective of the extended collaboration is to develop DNA microarrays to detect genetic cancer markers in blood or tumour samples and is based on ExonHit’s strong expertise and intellectual property in the field of gene _expression combined with bioMérieux’s know-how in the field of diagnostics.
Under the terms of the agreement, ExonHit grants bioMérieux an exclusive licence to use its technology and methods in the field of blood diagnostics, gene profiling and the design of microarrays.
In exchange, bioMérieux will fund ExonHit’s R&D costs for each cancer studied. There will be a minimum of five research programmes. ExonHit will also receive milestone payments for each key-milestone that is reached as well as royalties on future product sales.
“This agreement with bioMérieux underlines ExonHit‘s strategy to capitalise on our dominant position in genome profiling and confirms our capability to create value, not only in the therapeutics field but also in the area of diagnostics,” says Bruno Tocqué, CEO of ExonHit.
“What bioMérieux and ExonHit are capable of achieving together is a real breakthrough in the field of cancer diagnostics. From a single drop of blood, it will be possible to detect the early signs of several types of cancer.”
“This extended collaboration together with our already important technological portfolio, strengthens bioMérieux’s position as a player in oncology,” comments Dr Christophe Mérieux, Senior Corporate Vice President,Research & Development, Medical Affairs at bioMérieux.
“Our objective is to develop genetic blood tests to enable the early detection of certain types of cancers and to improve the treatment and monitoring of the patient.”