Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), provider of innovative clinical genetics and diagnostic solutions to advance molecular medicine, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Inven2, the technology transfer office at Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and University of Oslo (UiO), for 12 highly promising colorectal cancer tissue biomarkers.
The exclusive license allows OGT to commercialise any resulting test developed using these biomarkers and to sublicense the markers to other parties. The DNA methylation biomarkers were developed in the laboratory of Professor Ragnhild A. Lothe, in the department of Cancer Prevention, the Norwegian Radium Hospital, part of the Oslo University Hospital.
OGT has validated the results obtained in Professor Lothe's laboratory showing sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 90% when using tissue biopsies. Further work investigating the efficacy of these biomarkers in blood and faecal samples is ongoing.
"This licensing agreement gives OGT exclusive access to genetic markers which are associated with colorectal cancer." stated 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." He 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."
"Biomarkers have the potential to greatly improve the accuracy and impact of colorectal cancer screening." commented Professor Lothe, from the Norwegian Radium Hospital. "We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts with OGT to develop and validate a future test which will help screen people early for this treatable form of cancer."
Benedicte Bakke, Business Development Manager at Inven2 AS, Oslo technology transfer office, concluded: "We fully support the collaboration with Oxford Gene Technology to develop a new method of detecting colorectal cancer using these biomarkers. This deal demonstrates the importance of industry and academic collaboration in turning scientific excellence into products that address medical needs."