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Biocartis Licenses Cancer Markers from VIB

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biocartis today said that it has exclusively licensed from life science research institute VIB a panel of microsatellite instability biomarkers for several cancers, including colorectal cancer, which it plans to use in developing a molecular diagnostic assay.

The Lausanne, Switzerland-based firm intends to develop the cancer panel to run on its Idylla molecular diagnostics platform. Biocartis acquired the Idylla technology platform for fully automated DNA/RNA MDx testing from Royal Philips Electronics in 2010.

The firm said that the MSI markers were discovered in the lab of Diether Lambrechts at VIB through whole genome sequencing of colon and endometrial cancers with MMR deficiency. Lambechts said in a statement that the markers have a higher specificity and sensitivity compared to the current gold standard for MSI.

"Together with our core panel of colon cancer mutations and the recently in-licensed EGFR S492R mutation from Hospital del Mar, we are building a superior and unique menu for colon cancer assays on our Idylla platform," Geert Maertens, CSO of Biocartis, said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the license with VIB were not disclosed.

The licensing agreement comes a week after Biocartis said that it and BioMérieux had reached an agreement to end their alliance to develop and commercialize the Idylla platform, though BioMérieux remains a shareholder in the firm.