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Biocartis, MRC Technology Ink Deal to Develop Liquid Biopsy Test for Breast Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biocartis said today that it is collaborating with medical research charity MRC Technology to develop molecular diagnostic tests for use on the Biocartis fully automated Idylla platform.

Under the terms of the agreement, MRCT will act as a development contractor and Biocartis will be responsible for the commercialization of the tests under its own label. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

As their first effort, the collaborators will develop a liquid biopsy test aimed at monitoring metastatic breast cancer patients for resistance to hormone therapy, Biocartis said. The firm noted that the test would represent an important first step in its breast cancer menu, and has a strategic fit with its focus on liquid biopsy testing. Breast cancer testing is an important segment for Biocartis, alongside its current focus on melanoma, lung, and colorectal cancer.

Erwin Sablon, head of the company's R&D and alliance management, said in a statement that Biocartis is confident that it "can successfully develop a range of high quality tests for the Idylla platform, beginning with this first test for breast cancer" in collaboration with MRCT.

Within its melanoma and colorectal cancer menu, Biocartis has launched three liquid biopsy assays for research use only. It expects to launch a fourth liquid biopsy assay — the Idylla ctEGFR Mutation Assay, which would be part of the firm's lung cancer test menu — in the second half of 2017.