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Epigenomics AG Licenses Biomarker For Development Of Prostate Cancer Test To Quest Diagnostics

Epigenomics AG announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement for its proprietary biomarker mGSTP1 with US-based Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. Under the agreement, Quest Diagnostics has obtained rights to uses of the GSTP1 DNA methylation biomarker (mGSTP1) to establish and commercialize a molecular-based laboratory-developed test that can help pathologists better diagnose prostate cancer based on testing of a patient’s tissue specimen. Financial terms were not disclosed. Epigenomics and others have demonstrated that methylated DNA of the GSTP1 gene in tissue may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. A test that detects the DNA methylation of the gene GSTP1 in tissue biopsies in combination with conventional histopathology may augment the accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis in particular in cases with suspicious but inconclusive histology findings or patients with elevated PSA but repeatedly negative biopsies. Quest Diagnostics’ experience in DNA methylation diagnostics includes offering tests for Prader-Willi and Angelman Syndromes, two neurologic epigenetic disorders that may be caused by faulty DNA methylation. In 2008, Quest Diagnostics licensed rights to use Epigenomics’ proprietary colorectal cancer biomarker mSEPT9 to develop and validate a blood-based laboratory-developed test as an aid in the detection of colorectal cancer. “We are pleased that Quest Diagnostics is expanding its menu of DNA methylation tests using our technologies and biomarkers. Quest Diagnostics has a strong record of innovation in diagnostics, including development of other DNA methylation diagnostic tests. They also share our goal to develop technologies that will help physicians achieve improved health outcomes for their patients through better diagnosis of prostate cancer and early detection of colorectal cancer”, said Geert Nygaard, Chief Executive Officer of Epigenomics.