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IntegraGen Nets Exclusive Rights to Liver Cancer Gene Signatures

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – IntegraGen announced last week that it has garnered exclusive worldwide licensing rights to two hepatocellular carcinoma molecular signatures from Inserm Transfert and Paris Descartes University.

The signatures involve a panel of genes that help researchers to distinguish between benign and malignant liver tumors and identify histological subtypes, IntegraGen said in a statement. One signature involves 16 genes that can classify patients with hepatocellular carcinoma into six molecular groups and help guide therapeutic strategy based on these subgroups. The second signature includes five genes and determines disease prognosis for patients diagnosed with HCC after surgical resection.

The expression signatures are based on research conducted by Jessica Zucman-Rossi at Paris Descartes University, and funded by the Tumor Identity Cards Program of the National League Against Cancer, Paris Descartes University, and INSERM, the latter two of which co-ownthe related patents along with IntegraGen.

"IntegraGen is working with pharmaceutical companies to explore the use of the classification signature in early phase clinical trials for new drugs targeting hepatocellular carcinoma in order to identify patients who may respond to these treatments," IntegraGen CEO Bernard Courtieu said in a statement. "Moreover, the five-gene signature may aid physicians in the implementation of therapeutic strategies for patients with liver cancer."

In a paper published in Gastroenterology in 2013, researchers reported on a study that employed the five-gene prognostic signature, and found that it was associated with disease-specific survival times. Also, they said that this signature more accurately predicted patients' outcomes than other gene expression prognostic signatures for liver cancer.