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Ymir Genomics, MUSC to Search for Bladder Cancer Biomarkers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Ymir Genomics today announced a biomarker discovery agreement with the Medical University of South Carolina targeting bladder cancer. 

The firm aims to develop a diagnostic kit leveraging Ymir's urinary extracellular vesicle/RNA isolation technology and the expertise of the university's proteomics center. Ymir will isolate extracellular vesicles and RNA and analyze miRNA profiles of urine collected from patients with bladder cancer, as well as controls. MUSC will take the isolated vesicle preps and profile them based on proteins, glycans, and lipids. 

The partners said their goal is to develop a diagnostic to replace the current invasive and expensive cystoscopy procedure for identifying bladder cancer relapse in patients with a history of the disease. 

"The rapid urine exosome isolation method developed by Ymir Genomics is potentially transformative for how clinical diagnostics can be done in urine samples from bladder cancer patients, as well as tests for many other diseases," MUSC Proteomics Center Director Richard Drake said in a statement. "This is a great opportunity to merge the advanced technologies of Ymir Genomics and the MUSC Proteomics Center with the clinical resources of the Hollings Cancer Center to develop a much needed non-invasive diagnostic for bladder cancer."

Ymir is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and develops tools for developing non-invasive and prognostic assays based on urine, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, and other biofluids. It also conducts biomarker discovery research for cancer and diabetes.