MDxHealth inked a license and collaboration agreement with Ghent University in Belgium to develop the molecular diagnostic platform developed by the university, which allows the direct visualization of cancer-related epigenetic changes in tissue and liquid samples.

The license deal gives MDxHealth exclusive use of the methylation in situ hybridization (MISH) platform for urological cancers. The firm says it will initially work with Ghent University to validate cancer-specific biomarkers for prostate and bladder cancer. Through a separate agreement, MDxHealth and Ghent University aim to develop the technology for the firm’s current and future in vitro diagnostic (IVD) kits and laboratory-developed tests (LDTs).

The MISH technology uses chromogen and fluorescent dye-coupled probes to visualize cancer-associated methylation changes in a cancer patient’s DNA. “We are very excited to continue our long-standing and collaborative relationship with Ghent University,” said Jan Groen, Ph.D., CEO of MDxHealth. “The exclusively licensed technology and R&D collaboration has the potential to significantly enhance our current tests and ultimately provide a platform to expand into other difficult to diagnose cancers in the future.”

MDxHealth develops genetic and epigenetic tests to aid in the diagnosis of urologic cancers, and help to predict their recurrence risk and response to specific therapies. Headquartered in Irvine, CA, the firm has a European base in Belgium, with laboratory operations in the Netherlands.

MDxHealth markets four tests: ConfirmMDx, a tissue-based methylation test for prostate cancer; SelectMDx, a urine-based test for indicating risk of high-grade prostate cancer; AssureMDx, a urine-based assay that combines genetic mutation and methylation testing for bladder cancer; and PredictMDx, a tissue-based methylation test to inform on brain cancer treatment decisions. MDxHealth reported revenues of $30 million in 2016, up 70% on 2015.

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