NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Genome Institute of Singapore and QuantuMDx today announced a collaboration to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests specifically for the Asian population.
Under the terms of the deal, QuantuMDx's Singapore-based subsidiary QMDx Asia and GIS will develop the tests using QuantuMDx's Q-POC handheld point-of-care device. The Newcastle, UK-based firm will commercialize the tests.
The first assay to be developed under the collaboration will be for treating East Asian patients with kinase-driven cancers, including chronic myeloid leukemia and epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated non-small cell lung cancer, the partners said.
Q-POC, currently in prototype stage, uses sample preparation, extraction, amplification, and a nanowire-based sensor to detect DNA sequences in less than 15 minutes. The partners will use the device to test patients in a cancer clinic or post-surgery for a BIM deletion polymorphism genetic mutation, which GIS has shown can cause a patient's cancer to be unresponsive to treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors. By detecting the deletion, an alternative treatment can be determined for the patient.
In a statement, QuantuMDx Group CEO Elaine Warburton said the deal with GIS is "of great importance" to the company and its Asian subsidiary "as it offers access to GIS' world-class genomic expertise and facilities and to their Asian-specific validated disease biomarkers. This is of immense importance in developing Asian-specific diagnostic and companion diagnostic assays for sale within Asia.
"As part of our global drive for precision medicine using Q-POC, it is our strategy to develop disease-specific panels which are developed for and validated on populations from the geographic regions in which they are sold," she said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
GIS is an institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research.