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Empire Genomics Licenses Biomarker from Cornell to Develop Prostate Cancer Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Empire Genomics today announced it has licensed a genomic biomarker from Cornell University for the development of a test to diagnose and determine treatment of patients with neuroendocrine prostate cancer, or NEPC.

Empire and Cornell will partner on developing a commercial grade assay and Empire plans to launch the NEPC test later this year. Empire also plans to seek a pharmaceutical partner to use the assay to accelerate patient stratification in clinical trials, it said.

NEPC is a lethal variant of prostate adenocarcinoma that can develop de novo or after hormonal therapy for prostate adenocarcinoma. Little is known about its molecular biology, and because there is no effective therapy most patients with NEPC survive less than one year after diagnosis, Empire said.

About 30,000 men die of advanced prostate cancer annually, "most of whom will be treated with androgen suppression therapy. However, it is impossible to know just how many of them developed NEPC because patients are not typically biopsied at that stage of their disease," Brian Kelly, director of technology commercialization and liaison at the Weill Cornell Medical College office of the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization, said in a statement.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.