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Multiplicom Launches Three New Mutation Detection Kits to Enable the Implementation of Personalized Cancer Treatment



9/30/2013 8:37:48 AM

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ANTWERP, Belgium, September 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Multiplicom NV, a specialist in the development, production and commercialization of innovative molecular genetic tests based on massively parallel sequencing (MPS), today announces that it is launching three new somatic mutation detection kits which will enable users to implement personalized cancer treatment at an unprecedented level.

The new kits enable PCR amplification of genes known to be frequently mutated in tumor tissue of highly prevalent cancers of the gastro-intestinal track, colon, lung and skin. Based on this amplified material, the DNA sequence of the genes can then be determined allowing physicians to identify all mutations and subsequently select the most effective treatment for the patient.

The new kits are based on Multiplicom's proprietary MASTR™ technology: Epidermal Growth Factor (EGFR 18-21); Gastro-Intestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST) (cKIT, PDGFRA) and Somatic panel 1 (KRAS, NRAS, BRAF) and complement Multiplicom's MASTR product line which can be used in combination with all commercial bench top MPS instruments.

Multiplicom is operating in an area of rapid growth. The European MPS diagnostic market is expected to grow from €20M in 2012 to >€2,000M in 2018 (CAGR% >100%) within a worldwide market of >€6,000M in 2018, of which about 30% is cancer related (Source BCC Research). Based on its success in Europe, with sales in 2013 estimated at €3M (CAGR%>100%) and with the launch of new products for both genomic and somatic mutations, Multiplicom is now also looking for additional growth in other major territories.

Dr Dirk Pollet, CEO of Multiplicom, said: "The introduction of the new kits establishes Multiplicom as a European leader in the implementation of MPS in the routine labs, and the enabling of personalized medicine. Multiplicom's products are simple, easy to use, only require standard equipment and are compatible with MPS equipment from Roche, Life Technologies and Illumina. Our products provide answers to physicians and patients by linking genetics to health and disease and subsequently Multiplicom's products are able to improve treatment and quality of life, without adding to the overall cost of health care."

About the somatic mutation kits

EGFR is frequently hyperactive in a number of cancers, including lung cancer, anal cancers and glioblastoma. Drugs such as Iressa (gefitinib) and Tarceva (erlotinib) directly target EGFR, but are only found to be effective in the absence of certain mutations that can be identified using the EGFR MASTR kit.

In approximately 80% of GISTs, mutations in the cKIT gene contribute to the growth of the tumor cells. Among tumors that lack a cKIT mutation, some have mutations in a closely related gene called PDGFRA (about 5-7% of all GISTs). Knowledge of the exact type and location of a mutation in the KIT or PDGFRA gene, using the GIST MASTR kit, can be used to predict the likelihood that the tumor will respond to treatment with Gleevec (imatinib).

The Somatic 1 MASTR detects mutations in KRAS, NRAS and BRAF, genes that are part of the RAS-RAF-MAPK signal transduction pathway downstream from EGFR. Wild-type KRAS, wild-type BRAF and NRAS are required for response to anti-EGFR therapy making mutation analysis of all three genes useful.

About Multiplicom

Multiplicom NV is a Belgian biotech company focused on human molecular diagnostics. The company produces molecular diagnostic kits that enable clinical laboratories to perform affordable testing for personalized medicine. The Company was created in 2011 as a spin-off by the University of Antwerp and VIB. Multiplicom develops, manufactures and commercializes leading-edge and easy-to-use genetic test kits based on the latest molecular diagnostic technologies. The successful introduction of its kits in medical genetics labs proves they are the solution to an increasing demand for nucleic acid based testing that is driven by the scientific evidence that links genetic information to health and disease. In April 2011 Gimv, Gimv managed Biotechfonds Vlaanderen, VIB and UA invested a total of 2 million Euro in the series A financing. In February 2013, Multiplicom closed its series B financing raising 5.5 million Euro from a consortium composed of the series A and new investors (PMV, RMM and Qbic ARKIV Fund) to expedite development of additional diagnostic tests, fund international validation studies and expand sales channels.

For further information please visit http://www.multiplicom.com.

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