Sysmex Corp and Epigenomics AG announce that they have signed a strategic research and development collaboration agreement in molecular diagnostics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sysmex and Epigenomics will assess the suitability of Sysmex’ molecular diagnostics instrumentation for the detection of DNA methylation cancer biomarkers in blood. As a benchmark for the development of its assay system, Sysmex will use Epigenomics’ mSEPT9 Methylation Detection Assay commercially available as a research use only product.

If successful, Sysmex intends to develop and commercialize initially in Japan a blood test for the early detection of colorectal cancer based on Epigenomics’ proprietary SEPT9 DNA Methylation Biomarker (mSEPT9). Upon entering into this collaboration both parties have started negotiations for a non-exclusive mSEPT9 licensing agreement.

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Sysmex gets access to Epigenomics’ technologies through R&D licenses and technology transfer and will be supported by Epigenomics in its R&D work. In return, Epigenomics will receive certain license fees, R&D funding and reimbursements and will sell its mSEPT9 research use only product to Sysmex.

"We are committed to the creation of new technologies that will assist in providing individual patients with optimal medical care, through testing and diagnosis. This new joint research agreement will lead to the establishment of early detection technology. This will improve Sysmex’s portfolio of diagnostic technology and help to attain the goal of effective disease management ranging from early detection to treatment support and relapse prevention." said Dr Tameo Iwasaki, head of research and development of Sysmex.

"We are very excited about this partnership with Sysmex, one of the top 10 leading and fastest growing companies in the diagnostics industry. This agreement is another important step towards the commercialization of our mSEPT9 biomarker for colorectal cancer blood testing," commented Geert Nygaard, Chief Executive Officer of Epigenomics.

"It validates the clinical utility and the commercial attractiveness of our approach to colorectal cancer diagnostics as well as our non-exclusive partnering strategy. With Sysmex we expect to create a route to the attractive Japanese market for our early cancer detection franchise," he said.

Source: Globe Newswire