Methylation biomarkers will be added to assay panel for stool-based cancer diagnosis.

Exact Sciences negotiated exclusive worldwide rights for up to two of OncoMethylome Sciences’ DNA methylation biomarkers for inclusion in its test panel for stool-based detection of colorectal cancer. The deal between the firms also gives Exact access to part of OncoMethylome’s platform technology. The latter will in return receive milestone payments and royalties.

Exact has developed a stool-based assay for detecting colorectal cancer that includes multiple methylation markers. The panel of markers is currently at the validation stage. OncoMethylome suggests the addition of its methylation biomarkers represent an ideal fit for Exact’s product development.

“We believe that the combination of our biomarkers and platform with the test panel of Exact Sciences holds great promise for the development of a very powerful detection tool for colorectal cancer,” states Jan Groen, president and CEO at OncoMethylome. “Exact Sciences has made impressive progress in the development of their test panel, and this licensing agreement allows OncoMethylome to more rapidly and effectively capitalize on the value of its colon cancer program.”

Exact Sciences is focused on the development of a noninvasive stool DNA-based test for colorectal cancer diagnosis. The firm is developing a multiple marker assay comprising methylation markers, mutation markers, and a fecal immunochemical test, which the firm claims should achieve at least 85% sensitivity for cancer, 50% sensitivity for precancer, and 90% specificity.

OncoMethylome is a molecular diagnostics company developing gene methylation tests for the early detection of cancer and for use in personalized treatment decisions. The firm has ongoing methylation marker programs covering a range of solid tumor types.

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