Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Lab21, IntegraGen to Develop PCR-Based Assay to Guide Colorectal Cancer Therapy


UK-based clinical diagnostics developer Lab21 said last week that it has inked an agreement with IntegraGen to develop a microRNA assay for colorectal cancer designed to improve patient outcomes.

Under the agreement, Lab21 will develop a CE-marked assay using its proprietary SPARQ PCR technology to detect expression levels of a microRNA biomarker called hsa-mir-31-3p, which was discovered and patented by IntegraGen and its academic partners.

Early research has shown that this biomarker may predict response to EGFR inhibitor therapy in KRAS-wild type patients who have metastatic colorectal cancer.

Financial details were not disclosed. Following development of the hsa-mir-31-3p assay, Lab21 and IntegraGen will explore other partnering opportunities to manufacture and commercialize the biomarker, Lab21 said.

Lab21's SPARQ technology "circumvents the use of other primers and probes weighed down by expensive licensing costs" and enables "time- and cost-efficient development and manufacture of very sensitive and specific real-time PCR assays suitable for any real-time PCR platform," according to the company's website. The company has not disclosed additional details about the technology.

The agreement with IntegraGen is Lab21's second disclosed partnership in the personalized medicine space. In October, Becton Dickinson's Diagnostics unit said that it was collaborating with Lab21 to develop oncology assays initially targeting the KRAS and BRAF mutations for use on the BD Max molecular diagnostics system.

Lab21 also has a partnership in place with BD Diagnostics to develop a BD Max assay for Aspergillus fungal infections (PCR Insider, 8/4/2011); and has a similar assay-development deal with an undisclosed IVD company (PCR Insider, 4/12/2012).

Lab21 also has a portfolio of its own real-time PCR assays for fungal disease diagnostics under the Myconostica brand; and has a pipeline of oncology molecular diagnostic products in development, due to launch this year under the Onconostica brand name, according to the company's website.

The Onconostica products include an agreement with an undisclosed pharmaceutical company to develop, manufacture, and distribute a new companion diagnostic assay.

The Scan

Cell Atlas of Human Lung Development Gives View of Developing Airway

Researchers have generated a cell atlas of human lung development, which they report in Cell.

Study Finds Costs of Genome Sequencing May Limit Utility in Routine Care

Researchers report in the European Journal of Human Genetics that genome sequencing for rare disease diagnoses currently has similar benefits as less expensive exome analysis.

Study Suggests Nursing Mother's Diet Can Impact Offspring's Gut Microbiome

A new Cell Host and Microbe paper finds that mice whose mothers were fed a low-fiber diet during nursing experience lasting microbiota dysbiosis and increased obesity.

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.