NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - Perlegen Sciences said this week that it has licensed certain breast cancer biomarkers from Cambridge Enterprise Limited, the commercial arm of Cambridge University, and plans to commercialize the markers as a diagnostic test.
The agreement stems from a large-scale breast cancer study Perlegen, Cambridge, and Cancer Research UK began in 2005 that genotyped more than 50,000 women.
The study, published in Nature in June, identified certain breast cancer susceptibility markers that are present in roughly 20 percent of breast cancer cases in the UK. The company said this compares favorably to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which are used as diagnostic markers but occur in less than 5 percent of breast cancer cases.
The more common risk alleles identified in the Cambridge study “confer somewhat less overall risk than other described markers,” Perlegen said in a statement, but they double breast cancer risk in cases where there are two copies of the variants versus those with none.
Perlegen said it plans to market the diagnostic assay either directly or through a sub-license with a third party, and Cambridge University and partner Cancer Research Technology will receive a share of any financial returns, the company said.
Cambridge University reserves the right to provide non-commercial licenses to academic researchers.