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OncoCyte Acquires Rights to Lung Cancer Test from Wistar

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – OncoCyte announced today that it has signed a deal to acquire the exclusive commercial rights to a blood-based lung cancer diagnostic developed with the Wistar Institute.

OncoCyte and Wistar have been collaborating on the test since 2013. Last year, Wistar researchers presented positive interim clinical data showing that a prototype test measuring the expression of circulating messenger RNA and microRNAs could distinguish patients with malignant lung nodules from those with benign or no nodules with an area under the curve of .88 with sensitivity of 76 percent and specificity of 88 percent.

With the agreement, OncoCyte has obtained the full rights to the technology underlying the test from Wistar. A company spokesperson said OncoCyte is in the process of expanding the number of biomarkers used in the assay, with final clinical validation and a commercial launch expected by year end.

"Our lung cancer test addresses a large unmet need for the estimated 10 million high-risk patients in the US who require annual testing," OncyCyte CEO William Annett said in a statement. "Today's standard of care, LDCT screening, has a high false positive rate, so our lung cancer test is intended to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs to the healthcare system through the early and accurate detection of cancer."