Sydney, Australia, February 11, 2013 / B3C newswire / - Cellmid Limited (ASX: CDY) has signed an important option agreement with listed Japanese company Fujikura Kasei Co Ltd (Fujikura), a major supplier of latex particles used in medical diagnostics.
Under the terms of the Option to License agreement Cellmid will supply its proprietary anti-midkine diagnostic antibodies for validation on Fujikura’s latex platform. Cellmid will receive an initial fee and a further payment should Fujikura elect to exercise its license option. Cellmid will also receive royalties on any future midkine diagnostic products sold by Fujikura.
The license agreement will proceed on condition that Fujikura is able to reach a limit of detection (LOD) of 500 picogram/mL midkine in serum on its proprietary latex diagnostic platform. Cellmid’s highly sensitive MK-ELISA detects midkine to a limit of 8 picogram/mL, and Fujikura is planning to achieve a LOD close to that level on its latex platform using the same antibody pair.
Healthy individuals usually have serum midkine levels below 500 picogram/mL. A latex based test with a 500 picogram/mL LOD means that the test will be able to identify individuals with elevated midkine levels, which may lead to the development of a number of cancer diagnostic products. Fujikura has regulatory and product development programmes in place to accelerate this path to market.
A latex based assay will be highly beneficial for the commercial launch of any midkine diagnostic product, as it is widely used and accepted in pathology laboratories. It is also preferred as it can easily be automated, reducing processing costs.
“We are very excited about this opportunity as the midkine diagnostic platform lends itself to multiple, high value product development opportunities,” said Fujikura’s Head of Medical Project Division, Dr Hideyuki Kuroda.
Cellmid CEO Maria Halasz said she was confident the partner company’s expertise in latex based diagnostics would ensure success in achieving the required LOD for a midkine test.
“Fujikura is the ideal partner for us as they have a strong focus on building their medical diagnostic business and consider midkine an important part of this commercial expansion,” she said.
Midkine has been extensively validated as an early marker for a range of cancers and has also been shown to be useful in prognosis and disease management.
Cellmid has already licensed its patents for the early diagnosis, prognosis and disease monitoring of lung cancer (Celera-Quest) and bladder cancer (Pacific Edge Biotechnology). This latest agreement further validates the Company’s midkine diagnostic technology.
About Cellmid Limited (ASX: CDY)
Cellmid is an Australian biotechnology company developing innovative novel therapies and diagnostic tests for inflammatory diseases, heart attack and cancer. Cellmid holds the largest and most comprehensive portfolio of intellectual property related to midkine and midkine antagonists globally. The Company’s most advanced development programs involve using its anti-midkine antibodies for the treatment of cancer as well as inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. In addition, Cellmid is commercialising midkine as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis. Elevated midkine concentration in the blood and other body fluids is strongly indicative of cancer. Cellmid’s first product, the MK-ELISA, is a blood test that sensitively and accurately measures serum midkine levels.
About Fujikura Kasei Co Ltd
Fujikura Kasei is a Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange with headquarters in Tokyo. Established in 1938, Fujikura Kasei Co Ltd is a fine chemical company traditionally with core strengths in coating materials, electro-conductive materials, polymers and resins, serving electronics, automobiles, buildings industries. With its platform technologies in particle size and shape control, hybridization, functionality and processing, Fujikura Kasei is one of the largest suppliers of latex particles used in medical diagnostic based on latex coagulation technology.
About Midkine (MK)
Midkine is a multifunctional growth factor that is highly expressed during embryonic development. Midkine modulates many important biological interactions such as cell growth, cell migration and cellular adherence. These functions are relevant to cancer, inflammation, autoimmunity, ischemia, nerve growth/repair and wound healing. Midkine is barely detectable in healthy adults and only occurs as a consequence of the pathogenesis of a number of different disorders. Midkine expression is often evident very early in disease onset, even before any apparent physical symptoms. Accordingly, midkine is an important early marker for diagnosing cancers and autoimmune diseases. Finally, because midkine is only present in a disease context, targeting midkine does not harm normal healthy tissues.
Maria Halasz, CEO
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