York biotech firm pioneer lung cancer blood test
A University of York spin-out has secured a co-development and licensing deal for blood tests to detect early stage lung cancers.
Heslington-based Cizzle Biotechnology Limited, along with US firm Fujirebio Diagnostics Incorporated (FDI) will work together to develop a commercial test to be taken worldwide.
FDI have secured exclusive rights to patents and technology developed by Cizzle’s chief scientist Dr Dawn Coverley of the University of York’s Department of Biology.
The test stems from Dr Coverley and colleagues’ research, funded by a group of investors led by the charity Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Current methods of screening at-risk people are either too costly, or involve invasive procedures, say Cizzle.
For advanced lung cancer, the long-term survival rate is about 5%, and unlike some other common cancers, survival rates have not improved significantly in more than 30 years.
Dr Coverley said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to combine the specialist knowledge of my team with the resources and expertise of Fujirebio to realise the full potential of Ciz1 in cancer diagnostics. We think this relationship is exactly what is needed to take our exciting results to the next stage and deliver a fully functioning test that will be of tangible benefit to cancer patients.”
Cizzle CEO David Browning added: “In the UK there is a funding gap that is difficult for biotech start-ups to negotiate, which means that many ventures based on innovative scientific discoveries with significant potential clinical benefit never reach the point of commercialisation.
“With the support of our investors, Cizzle has been able to bridge that gap and develop the technology to a point where it can be further developed for global markets.”
Morgan Williams, Head of Commercialisation at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “One of our aims is to help move early-stage, innovative cancer technologies towards a position where they become ready for further development by the pharmaceutical or biotechnology sectors.
“With our partners, this is just what we have achieved here, and we have genuine hope that the Cizzle-FDI relationship will deliver a test of real benefit to patients.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .
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