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Oxford BioDynamics Forms Autism Biomarker Alliance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Oxford BioDynamics announced today that it will collaborate with Italian research institute Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza to identify blood-based biomarkers of autism spectrum disorder.

Under the terms of the deal, the partners will develop an autism biomarker assay based on Oxford BioDynamics' EpiSwitch platform, which enables the discovery, evaluation, validation, and monitoring of a class of epigenetic biomarkers called chromosome conformation signatures (CCSs). According to the UK-based company, CCSs can be used to analyze changes in genomic regulation before the results of epigenetic changes manifest themselves.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"We strongly believe our work will help to improve the understanding of epigenetic controls and mechanisms behind this disorder," Oxford BioDynamics CSO Alexandre Akoulitchev said in a statement. "This agreement further demonstrates rising interest in our proprietary technology ... which offers results of unique value and clinical utility in biomarker discovery and disease understanding for a broad spectrum of complex indications."

Earlier this year, Oxford BioDynamics partnered with Holos to develop biomarkers for sports-related concussions. It also has a biomarker alliance with Pfizer and in-house programs in a range of indications including including breast cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.