Firm will initially develop assays for detecting membrane protein biomarkers in ovarian cancer.

Pressure BioSciences (PBI) and Target Discovery (TDI) expanded an existing alliance and collaboration in order to give TDI rights to use PBI’s pressure cycling technology (PCT) platform for its planned commercial diagnostic service offerings. The PCT platform has to date only been available for research use.

TDI’s initial focus will be on developing diagnostic assays to help guide treatment decision-making in ovarian cancer, but the firm’s nonexclusive commercial license to PCT covers use of the platform in in vitro diagnostic testing services for the detection of protein biomarkers in other cancers. TDI in addition retains a right of first negotiation to an exclusive license to sell biomarker and/or diagnostic assay products incorporating PCT technology in a specified field.

The global commercial license builds on the firms’ original research collaboration, signed in 2010, through which they combined the PCT technology with TDI’s reagents for extracting membrane protein biomarkers from human tissue, including protein isoform biomarkers that have been hard to extract using other technologies in a form suitable for diagnostic and prognostic testing.

“We believe that the PCT platform, in combination with TDI’s reagents, provides reliable access to this important class of protein biomarkers for life sciences R&D,” comments Jeffrey N. Peterson, TDI’s CEO. “We further believe that variations measured in these protein isoforms are expected to translate into important commercial applications.”

The deal with TDI comes just a couple of weeks after PBI announced that Ironridge agreed to purchase $500,000 worth of its Series E Convertible Preferred Stock. Each of the 500 purchased shares will be convertible into approximately 980 shares of common stock, at a conversion price of $1.02 per share. 

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