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Opko Licenses Alzheimer's Diagnostic Technology to LabCorp

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Opko Health said this week it has signed an exclusive deal with Laboratory Corporation of America for rights to Opko's Alzheimer's diagnostic technology.

The license gives LabCorp rights in North America and the United Arab Emirates to Opko's Alzheimer's IP in order to develop and commercialize tests for the disease. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Opko's Alzheimer's platform measures levels of Alzheimer's-associated autoantibodies in patient plasma to detect the disease. Detailed in a paper published last year in Cell, the system uses synthetic molecules called peptoids to screen for autoantibodies in blood (PM 1/7/2011).

In an interview with ProteoMonitor following publication of the Cell paper, Thomas Kodadek, professor of chemistry and cancer biology at Scripps Research Institute and a scientific director at Opko, noted that autoantibodies offer several advantages compared to traditional serum protein biomarkers, including better stability and, in many cases, higher abundance.

In addition to its Alzheimer's work, Opko is researching autoantibody-based biomarkers for various cancers, autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and infectious diseases.

"Licensing of our Alzheimer's diagnostic technology to a major clinical laboratory, such as LabCorp, marks a significant milestone for Opko's diagnostics program and the advancement of our molecular diagnostics tests, Opko chairman and CEO Phillip Frost said in a statement.

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