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HDC to Partner with Saint Vincent Pancreatic Cancer Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Savannah, Ga.-based molecular diagnostics company Health Discovery Corporation today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with a New York pancreatic cancer center to find biomarkers for the disease.

Under the exclusive agreement, HDC and the Pancreas, Biliary, and Liver Surgery Center at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers in New York will work together to develop molecular diagnostics for detecting pancreatic cancer early.

The tissue, blood, and urine samples to be used in the research will come from the center's specimen banks, which also contain clinical information and data on patient outcomes. Meanwhile, researchers at HDC plan to use the company's patented support vector machines (SVM) to look for pancreatic cancer diagnostic markers.

"[W]e have a unique opportunity to develop a new molecular diagnostic test to identify pancreatic cancer at a pre-clinical stage early enough to be treated more effectively than is current practice on today's patients," Avram Cooperman, surgical director at the Pancreas, Biliary and Liver Surgery Center, said in a statement.

HDC will own the intellectual property and commercialization rights for molecular diagnostic tests that stem from the pancreatic cancer collaboration. It plans to partner with a large clinical laboratory to develop, market, and commercialize such tests.

The company used a similar SVM discovery approach, based on pattern recognition, to help come up with a urine-based test for prostate cancer, which it licensed last year to Quest Diagnostics and Abbott for development and commercialization on a royalty-based, worldwide, co-exclusive basis.