NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Celera said today that it has licensed the rights to use Medical Therapies Limited's patent portfolio for the protein midkine in its lung cancer diagnostics programs.
Under the exclusive license with Sydney-based Medical Therapies, Celera will pay up front and milestone payments and royalties on product sales over the life of the patents. Specific financial details were not disclosed by the firms.
Celera said it will use the midkine patents to develop and sell diagnostics for a range of lung cancer testing uses, including risk assessment, early detection, differentiation, prognosis, disease recurrence and progression, as well as response to treatment.
Clinical studies have found that blood midkine levels are greatly elevated in the early stages of cancer formation, Celera said. High midkine levels also have been linked to poor patient prognosis for a number of cancers, the company added.
"Celera has used a novel mass spectrometry-based approach to identify potential circulating protein biomarkers for non-small cell lung cancer," Steve Ruben, Celera's VP of proteomics, said in a statement. "We believe that midkine could have an important role in a blood-based immunodiagnostic assay."