February 19, 2008 - Quest Diagnostics Inc. announced that it has licensed rights to uses of the Septin 9 DNA methylation biomarker from Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt, Germany), a cancer molecular diagnostics company, to develop a molecular-based laboratory test designed to help physicians detect colorectal cancer based on a patient’s blood specimen.
Methylation of the Septin 9 gene is a marker in blood plasma of colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. The company said it plans to develop the test to act as a supplement to conventional methods of colorectal cancer screening, including colonoscopy and fecal occult blood tests (FOBTs).
Quest Diagnostics is the first commercial laboratory in the U.S. to license uses of the Septin 9 biomarker from Epigenomics with the goal of commercializing a laboratory-developed blood-based test, said the company. Under terms of the agreement, Quest Diagnostics will have exclusive rights for an undisclosed period to develop and offer an assay based on the Epigenomics' technology. Epigenomics has demonstrated that methylated DNA of the Septin 9 gene in blood plasma indicates the presence of colorectal cancer in early stages.
For more information: www.questdiagnostics.com