Oxford Gene Technology (OGT; Oxford, United Kingdom), provider of clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions, has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Inven2 (Oslo, Norway), the technology transfer office at Oslo University Hospital (OUS; Oslo, Norway) and University of Oslo (UiO; Oslo, Norway), for 12 promising colorectal cancer tissue biomarkers.
The DNA methylation biomarkers were developed in the laboratory of Prof. Ragnhild A. Lothe, in the department of Cancer Prevention, the Norwegian Radium Hospital, part of the Oslo University Hospital. As a result of the agreement OGT will be able to commercialize any test developed using these biomarkers and to sublicense the markers to other parties.
The results obtained in Prof. Lothe’s laboratory were validated by OGT, and demonstrated a sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 90% when using tissue biopsies. The efficacy of the biomarkers in blood and fecal samples is still being studied.
“This licensing agreement gives OGT exclusive access to genetic markers which are associated with colorectal cancer,” stated Dr. Mike Evans, CEO, of OGT. “We believe that developing tests that include these genetic markers will permit the earlier identification of patients at risk of this disease and allow for more timely diagnosis and clinical interventions.” Dr. Evans added, “The higher specificity of this new panel of markers could provide a more robust screening tool than the tests currently used, while eventually lowering overall costs, which would be of significant benefit for both patients and the clinicians using them.”
A robust preventive strategy for colorectal cancer that can stratify patients into appropriate screening or surveillance programs is lacking for early detection of cancer. Internationally, the chosen modality of colorectal cancer screening varies, with cost and availability of diagnostic resources likely to be the leading factors effecting program design.
OGT provides clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine. The company supplies specific customized biomarker panels for cancer and other diseases, both for direct sale and also for collaboration with partner companies.
Oxford Gene Technology
University of Oslo