Empire Genomics Licenses Novel DNA Biomarker for Use in Diagnosing and Creating a Companion Diagnostic Test for Neuroendocrine Prostate Cancer2013-05-22 13:44:50
BUFFALO, N.Y., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire Genomics announced today it has acquired an exclusive license for a patent pending novel genomic biomarker from Cornell University for use in developing a molecular diagnostic test that could help in diagnosing and determining treatment for patients with neuroendocrine (NEPC) prostate cancer.
Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is a lethal variant of prostate adenocarcinoma (PCA) that can arise de novo, but more commonly arises after hormonal therapy for PCA. Little is known about the underlying molecular biology of NEPC or how and why some patients with PCA progress to a predominantly neuroendocrine phenotype. There is currently no effective therapy for NEPC, and most patients survive less than one year. The poor molecular characterization of NEPC accounts in part for the lack of disease specific therapeutics.
"Each year, approximately, 30,000 men will die of advanced prostate cancer, most of whom will be treated with androgen suppression therapy, however, it is impossible to know just how many of them developed NEPC because patients are not typically biopsied at that stage of their disease," said Dr. Brian Kelly , Director of Technology Commercialization and Liaison at the Weill Cornell Medical College office of the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC). "We are delighted that Empire Genomics is now going to make this important diagnostic test available to this patient population and we look forward to working with the company and its seasoned management team."
"We are delighted to work with Empire Genomics to help develop a commercial grade assay to test for abnormalities one of the key driving genes of the most aggressive form of prostate cancer. This clinical tool will be important as we move forward with precision medicine clinical trials for aggressive castration resistant prostate cancer lead by Dr. Himisha Beltran," said Mark Rubin , Homer T. Hirst Professor of Pathology in Oncology and the Director of the Institute for Precision Medicine.
Empire Genomics will launch a genetic test for NEPC that will diagnose NEPC Prostate Cancer later this year and seek to partner with pharmaceutical companies to use this assay for accelerating patient stratification in clinical trials.
"We are very pleased to work with Drs. Rubin and Beltran and Cornell to commercialize this technology," said Anthony Johnson , CEO of Empire Genomics. "It is another exciting genomic tool that we have added to our exclusive precision medicine portfolio."