NEW YORK – Singaporean biotechnology firm MiRxes said on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with PT Elion Medika Indonesia to develop blood-based tests for the early detection of multiple cancers for the Indonesian market.
As part of the arrangement, PT Elion will validate MiRxes' microRNA-based tests for stomach and lung cancer in an Indonesian cohort. The two companies have also established a joint project for creating a multi-cancer blood test based on miRNA and DNA methylation biomarkers found in Indonesian cancer patients. The partners will specifically focus on "high-incidence and high-mortality" cancers in the Indonesian population, including lung, breast, colorectal, liver, stomach, esophageal, ovarian, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
MiRxes CEO Lihan Zhou said that the deal with PT Elion is part of the company's quest to "bring accessible and affordable cancer early detection solutions" to Southeast Asia. The company announced partnerships with several Singapore universities and hospitals in July to study circulating microRNA and DNA methylation biomarkers for multi-cancer early detection.
In its work with PT Elion, MiRxes will contribute its PCR and next-generation sequencing platforms, as well as its experience in developing and commercializing tests for the early detection of cancer. PT Elion, headquartered in Jakarta, will assist with local research, manufacturing, and clinical testing, and will engage Indonesian stakeholders, such as clinicians and policymakers. Talent development and manufacturing technology transfer are also part of the agreement.
According to Nathan Tirtana, commissioner for PT Elion, the companies aim to develop a "high-quality and affordable multi-cancer early detection test and early intervention tailored to the Indonesian population."
Together with Indonesian researchers, MiRxes and PT Elion will validate and optimize markers identified in European and Han Chinese cohorts in local cohorts representative of Indonesia's diverse population. More than 276 million people live in Indonesia, and the country has about 1,300 distinct ethnic groups.
The Cadence-ID project will kick off next year, the companies said, and will involve the recruitment of more than 10,000 participants, including healthy, high-risk, precancerous, and newly diagnosed cancer patients.