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Matrix-Bio Licenses Metabolomic Biomarkers to Quest for Breast Cancer Test Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Metabolomics-based diagnostic firm Matrix-Bio today said it has signed an agreement with Quest Diagnostics covering the use of metabolomic biomarkers to develop a test for breast cancer recurrence.

Under the terms of the agreement, Quest has licensed the rights to use the biomarkers developed by Matrix-Bio for a future, potential clinical lab-developed test. Quest will independently develop and validate the LDT in its research, development, and laboratory center in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. It also will co-fund studies with Matrix-Bio to demonstrate the clinical value of the test through its laboratory and market the testing service in the US and beyond.

Quest has the option to pursue regulatory approval for an in vitro diagnostic version of the test. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Matrix-Bio said it has developed a method combining mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for identifying metabolic changes in cancerous cells. In a 2010 study published in Cancer Research, Matrix-Bio's test demonstrated it could correctly predict the recurrence of breast cancer an average of 13 months before clinical diagnosis with two times the sensitivity of immunoassays, the current test standard, the company added.

"Licensing the biomarkers to Quest Diagnostics is a big step toward our goal to make improved and more efficient testing methods for diagnosing many forms of cancer available to physicians and patients," Matrix-Bio Founder and CSO Dan Raftery said in a statement. "Quest has the people, processes, and presence to bring a clinically valuable breast cancer recurrence test to market and with it hope to breast cancer survivors who want more accurate cancer recurrence monitoring."

The company also is developing additional biomarkers for other cancers using Matrix-Bio's VeraMarker metabolite profiling technology platform, it said.