Biocartis Group NV (the ‘Company’ or ‘Biocartis’), an innovative molecular diagnostics company, announces the expansion of its collaboration with LifeArc, a UK based independent medical research charity, with a new agreement aimed at the development of highly innovative prototype assays in the field of infectious and immune related diseases on Biocartis’ fully automated molecular diagnostics platform Idylla™.
The new licence and development agreement is an extension of the existing partnership (1) between LifeArc and Biocartis, which is today focused on the development and the commercialization of the Idylla™ ABC (Advanced Breast Cancer) assay (2). This assay is positioned to target a multi-gene panel of predictive and resistance-inducing mutations based on an FFPE(3) sample type. Under the new agreement, LifeArc obtains a non-exclusive licence to use the Idylla™ platform for the development of Idylla™ assays in the area of infectious and immune related diseases, aimed at supporting patient stratification and treatment monitoring of patients with, amongst others, bacterial, fungal and viral infections.
Today even more than ever, there is a clear need for improved diagnostics and monitoring of infectious and immune related disease. Central labs struggle to meet the growing demand, which is driven by rising incidence and prevalence of communicable diseases as well as a growing elderly population, who generally have a weaker immune response.
Herman Verrelst, Chief Executive Officer of Biocartis, commented: “Although our focus remains in oncology, we know the Idylla™ platform to have a much broader capability such as in infectious disease testing. We have always said we were keen on exploring opportunities there together with partners. LifeArc is one of the largest UK charitable medical research institutions and an organization that works with some of the most advanced and comprehensive technologies available today. Adding to the ongoing development of our proprietary Idylla™ SARS-CoV-2 Test and to our collaboration with Immunexpress on sepsis testing, this collaboration will further help build an innovative Idylla™ test pipeline in the area of infectious and immune related diseases with high clinical need. We’re pleased to see our partnering activities continue to add to the test menu and attractiveness of the Idylla™ platform.”
Michael Dalrymple, Executive Director, Diagnostics & Science Foresight at LifeArc, said: “Based on our experience with Idylla™ as a great sample-to-result platform for rapid molecular diagnostics, we believe the technology can deliver patient benefit beyond oncology. Through this additional licence and development agreement, we can explore the development of highly innovative assays, and ultimately develop new tests that benefit patients.”
Financial details of the agreement are not disclosed.
(1) In June 2017, Biocartis announced a partnership with LifeArc to develop selected molecular diagnostic tests for use on the Idylla™ platform. For each selected test, LifeArc will act as a development contractor, whereas Biocartis will be responsible for the commercialization of the tests under its own label. More info on www.biocartis.com/partners. On 15 June 2017, MRC Technology changed its name to LifeArc. LifeArc has been involved in helping deliver a number of therapies including Keytruda® (pembrolizumab, marketed by Merck) which is an important immunotherapy treatment for various cancers
(2) LifeArc is responsible for developing the test as development subcontractor whereas Biocartis as legal manufacturer is responsible for the commercialization of the assay
(3) Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded