Nucleix Establishes Collaborative Research and License Agreement with MD Anderson to Develop Methylation Assays to Assess Lung Cancer Patients
Agreement to build upon research and technical expertise in characterizing methylation patterns in lung cancer
SAN DIEGO & REHOVOT, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Nucleix a liquid biopsy company revolutionizing cancer treatment by detecting the disease earlier, has entered into a collaborative research and license agreement with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to evaluate and develop methylation assays focused on lung cancer, using Nucleix’s highly sensitive EpiCheck® platform.
The collaboration will focus initially on evaluating methylation markers believed to be important for the characterization of lung cancer subtypes. Selected markers will be evaluated using EpiCheck – Nucleix’s proprietary platform, which can be run using both PCR and next-generation sequencing technologies, and has shown best-in-class analytical sensitivity.
For those markers that demonstrate efficacy in helping with this characterization, Nucleix will lead the development of new assays. MD Anderson will work to validate assays using in vitro and in vivo cell lines, preclinical models and clinical samples.
“As described in a recent publication in the European Respiratory Journal, our Lung EpiCheck® test is highly sensitive and has the potential to assist in the early detection of lung cancer for high-risk individuals, but we know there is also a significant need for patients who have already been diagnosed and are undergoing treatment,” said Chris Hibberd, chief executive officer of Nucleix. “By collaborating with MD Anderson, we aim to expand the methylation tools available for the assessment and care of this patient population.”
Nucleix’s Lung EpiCheck test analyzes changes in methylation patterns for early detection of lung cancer. The company is focused on advancing the test for the roughly 15 million high-risk smokers who are eligible for annual screening. In a recently published study, the test detected 85% of early stage lung cancers among individuals at high risk for developing the disease based on their history of smoking.
“Blood-based methylation assays are minimally invasive and have the potential to provide key information about a patient’s lung cancer that cannot be provided by standard genomic profiling of DNA mutations, helping physicians to better identify disease subtypes and emerging biomarkers in the clinic,” said John V. Heymach, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. “We look forward to collaborating with Nucleix to advance methylation measurement tools with the goal of enabling physicians to provide more personalized, biomarker-driven treatment approaches for our patients.”
EpiCheck® is an ultra-sensitive technology for the detection of methylation changes and is compatible with both next-generation sequencing (NGS) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platforms. Nucleix is applying the NGS application of EpiCheck for deep discovery, to reveal new biomarkers that may be used in the early detection and monitoring of cancer. In turn, these discoveries can be advanced as highly sensitive tests using the PCR application of EpiCheck, with the potential to run cost-effectively in both centralized and local laboratories.
Nucleix is a liquid biopsy company revolutionizing cancer treatment with earlier disease detection at a time when intervention can bring the greatest impact for patients. Leveraging NGS and PCR-based epigenetics, the Company’s pioneering testing approach uses methylation-based identification for early-stage and recurring cancer detection. The Company’s non-invasive EpiCheck® platform delivers highly accurate and sensitive results, all while providing a seamless testing option for patients and the healthcare system. The Company is building an EpiCheck franchise, beginning with the Bladder EpiCheck® testing kit, marketed in Europe for bladder cancer recurrence. The Company is advancing a Lung EpiCheck test toward commercialization for high-risk individuals, while advancing additional tests for high-risk diseases. For more information, please visit: https://www.nucleix.com.