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Epigenomics, BioChain Ink Lung Cancer Dx Deal in China

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Epigenomics announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement providing access to certain of its blood-based biomarker technology to China's BioChain for the development of a lung cancer test in China.

Under the terms of the deal, BioChain will have the rights to develop the lung cancer test using a panel of Epigenomics' proprietary blood-based DNA methylation biomarkers derived in part from its bronchoalveolar lavage-based Epi proLung BL test. In exchange, Epigenomics will receive undisclosed upfront, milestone, and annual minimum payments, as well as royalties on product revenues in the mid-single digits.

"The agreement with BioChain is a major milestone in our strategy to fully exploit the commercial potential of our innovative, blood-based cancer tests," Epigenomics CEO and CFO Thomas Taapken said in a statement. "Based on the existing successful cooperation with BioChain in the development and commercialization of a colorectal cancer screening test for China, we look forward to extending our partnership on lung cancer going forward." 

The companies first began collaborating in 2013 when BioChain licensed the Chinese rights to an Epigenomics' biomarker for use in a colorectal cancer detection test. That test, called Epi proColon, was approved in China in late 2014.

Epigenomics continues to work to get the test approved in the US, where it was rejected by regulators in 2014.