Eureka Genomics and Baylor Research Institute, the research arm of the Baylor Health Care System, said this week that they will work together to understand the causes of colorectal cancer, potentially leading to better prevention, management, and treatment techniques.
Under the agreement, Eureka will use its proprietary bioinformatics system to provide data analysis while BRI will contribute expertise and clinical resources related to colorectal cancer, and intellectual property regarding the JC virus — a potential causative agent in the disease.
Terms of the agreement call for the partners to jointly own any intellectual property relating to the biology or etiology of cancer arising from their collaboration and share revenues from commercialization of potential diagnostics and treatments.
The partners hope to confirm suspicions, based on prior research at Baylor, that the JC virus is involved in colorectal cancer, as well as identify other microbial or genetic factors.
"This collaboration represents an opportunity to use next generation DNA sequencing techniques — or deep sequencing — to look for non-human DNA sequences in colon tumors,” Richard Boland, principal BRI investigator and chief of the gastroenterology division at Baylor University Medical Center, said in a statement. "It will help us know how many copies of the virus are present in tumor tissues, whether the virus is integrated or, as we think, exists as an independent 'parasite' in the nucleus."