NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - ExonHit Therapeutics said today that it has amended its longstanding partnership with bioMerieux in order to gain commercial rights to cancer diagnostic kits developed through the agreement.
The amended agreement also gives bioMerieux “greater flexibility to initiate new research and development projects in that field,” ExonHit said.
The partnership began in 2003 to develop breast cancer diagnostics and was expanded in 2005 to include other types of cancers, including colon, prostate, and lung.
The goal of the partnership is to develop DNA microarrays to detect cancer markers in blood samples. ExonHit is providing its gene expression analysis know-how and intellectual property, and on bioMerieux is contributing its knowledge of in vitro diagnostics.
The companies are currently working on three programs: breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer.
Terms of the previous agreement gave bioMérieux an exclusive license to ExonHit’s technology and methods in the field of blood diagnostics, gene profiling, and microarray design. In exchange, bioMérieux covered ExonHit's R&D costs and provided milestone payments.
The new agreement will allow ExonHit to market the diagnostic kits developed through the partnership to pharmaceutical companies or to hospitals taking part in clinical studies, “in order to help them recruit patients for their clinical studies.”
Bruno Tocque, chairman of ExonHit’s management board, called the amendment “a major step forward in ExonHit's development because it allows us to consider generating our own source of revenues from products based on our technology which are issued from the collaboration."