Epigenomics and QIAGEN partner on colorectal cancer blood test
BERLIN—Cancer molecular diagnostics company Epigenomics AG and sample and assay technology provider QIAGEN have entered into an option agreement allowing QIAGEN to develop a colorectal cancer blood test based on Epigenomics' proprietary biomarker mSEPT9 and certain DNA methylation analysis technologies.
In numerous studies, Epigenomics and its partners have demonstrated that the detection of the mSEPT9 biomarker in blood plasma correlates with the presence of colorectal cancer and thus can be used as an aid in the detection of this common cancer. These studies include the successfully completed PRESEPT Study, a prospective evaluation of the Septin9 biomarker in a cohort of almost 8,000 individuals representative of a typical screening population.
Under the terms of the agreement, QIAGEN receives an option to a worldwide, non-exclusive, commercial license to Epigenomics' proprietary mSEPT9 biomarker and DNA methylation technologies for the detection of colorectal cancer in blood. The option can be exercised by QIAGEN within the next two years.
Epigenomics has also granted QIAGEN a research license to the mSEPT9 biomarker and the technologies. Under this license, QIAGEN is currently developing a novel sample preparation technology that meets the requirements for the future broad implementation of methylation-based molecular diagnostics, such as Septin9-targeted blood testing for the detection of colorectal cancer, on QIAGEN's modular molecular testing platform QIAsymphony. Epigenomics will support QIAGEN in the R&D phase through know-how transfer and the collection of clinical specimens as required.
Under the terms of the option agreement, Epigenomics will receive an upfront payment from QIAGEN and will be reimbursed for any R&D support and clinical specimens provided during the R&D phase. Upon QIAGEN exercising the option, Epigenomics would receive a further license payment. Once QIAGEN commercializes a colorectal cancer blood test based on Epigenomics' biomarkers and technology, Epigenomics would be entitled to royalties on QIAGEN's net sales as well as certain commercial milestones upon reaching specific revenue targets.