Geron granted Sienna Cancer Diagnostics access to some of its patents and know-how related to the detection or measurement of telomerase activity. Sienna plans to use this intellectual property to advance its cancer diagnostics development program.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sienna gained worldwide, exclusive rights within a defined field for use in the in vitro diagnostics market. Geron received an equity interest in Sienna and is also entitled to royalties.
Sienna’s lead candidate is a noninvasive assay that utilizes the firm’s telomerase biosensor technology (TBT) to detect telomerase activity in urine for the diagnosis of bladder cancer. Telomerase is reportedly present in about 95% of all epithelial cancers. Sienna says that the assay could thus supplement or replace invasive cystoscopy procedures.
“Sienna’s pathway to commercialization is now well-defined,” according to CEO, Kerry A. Hegarty, Ph.D. “We can now move rapidly through our product development program toward offering a range of high-value cancer diagnostic tests.”