California-based molecular diagnostics company DiaCarta Inc. and the University of Potsdam in Germany have recently announced an exclusive license agreement for the development and commercialization of a non-invasive diagnostic test for early detection of colon cancer in stool samples. As a result, DiaCarta will have the exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of this diagnostic test globally.
Colon cancer is a common malignancy that usually develops from abnormal growths (polyps) in the inner walls of the large intestine. Screening and polyp removal can prevent the disease. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is estimated that in 2015, 49,700 Americans will die from this cancer.
The identification of cancer precursors or biomarkers is important to prevent cancer development. Work led by researchers has established an ultra-sensitive, non-invasive diagnostic test for early colorectal cancer detection, as well as of precursor lesions through the identification of cancer-related mutations, namely mutations in the Adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. This method, called QClamp, is based on molecular techniques using xenonucleic acid (XNA) that leads to the enrichment and amplification of mutant APC gene DNA but not of the non-mutated, wild-type (WT) DNA form.
“DiaCarta’s XNA Clamping technology to block all the WT-DNA is the most promising tool for the non-invasive early detection of mutations, including from liquid biopsy,” said the inventor of the patent, Dr. Bettina Scholtka from the University of Potsdam in a news release. “We are very pleased to partner with DiaCarta to accelerate worldwide development and commercialization of Non-Invasive Early Detection of Colon Cancer.”
Currently, there is a great need for diagnostic tests for early colon cancer detection. “With this agreement, DiaCarta now can extend its QClamp somatic mutation test product line targeting this unmet market,” said DiaCarta’s Founder and CEO Dr. Aiguo Zhang. “We look forward to working with Dr. Bettina Scholtka and her team at University of Potsdam to move the unique colon cancer early detection program forward as quickly as possible.”