Epigenomics AG, a cancer molecular diagnostics company, today announced that it signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement for its proprietary DNA methylation biomarker Septin 9 (mSEPT9) with Salt Lake City, Utah. based ARUP Laboratories Inc. Under the agreement, ARUP has obtained rights to use the mSEPT9 biomarker to develop a molecular-based laboratory test that can help physicians detect colorectal cancer based on a patient’s blood sample.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. Epigenomics has repeatedly demonstrated that methylated DNA of the Septin 9 gene in blood plasma indicates the presence of colorectal cancer in early stages.

“Having a simple blood test that can detect colorectal cancer will be a major step in the fight against this dreadful disease, which is often curable when caught in the early stages,” said Ronald L. Weiss, MD, MBA, ARUP Executive Vice President of Health Policy, External Affairs, and Corporate Communication. “Patient compliance in the U.S with current colorectal cancer screening guidelines leaves a lot to be desired. All too often, patients fail to undergo a colonoscopy or conduct other types of colorectal cancer screenings because they find these methods invasive, unpleasant or costly. A blood test for detecting colorectal cancer, will be a convenient option that complements other screening methods.”

ARUP is the second commercial laboratory in the US to non-exclusively license the mSEPT9 biomarker from Epigenomics with the goal of commercializing a laboratory-developed blood test.

“ARUP is an ideal second laboratory partner to use our mSEPT9 biomarker technology to commercialize a laboratory-developed test for detecting colorectal cancer,” said Geert Nygaard, Chief Executive Officer of Epigenomics AG. “We selected ARUP because they have a record of innovation in molecular diagnostics. They also share our objective of developing tests that will help physicians to improve the health outcomes for their patients through accurate detection of early-stage colorectal cancer. With today’s licensing agreement we continue to execute on our non-exclusive commercialization strategy for our colorectal cancer biomarker. The agreement with ARUP for the commercialization of a laboratory-developed test for mSEPT9 complements our current agreements with Quest Diagnostics for an mSEPT9-based laboratory developed test, Abbott Molecular, who obtained the non-exclusive rights to commercialize IVD test kit products based on mSEPT9, as well as Sysmex” explained Mr. Nygaard.

Source: Epigenomics AG