bioMérieux to develop non-invasive test for prostate cancer
2 October 2008
French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux (Paris:BIM) has signed
a license and development agreement with German biotechnology company
ProteoSys for its novel prostate cancer marker Annexin 3, which will be
used to develop a urine-based, confirmatory diagnostic test for prostate
cancer. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
After a research phase, the new test should be developed on the VIDAS
platform, one of the most widely installed automated immunoassay
instruments in the world.
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States and
the 4th most common worldwide. The combination of a test for a new
prostate cancer biomarker, Annexin 3, with the standard screening
methods could potentially reduce the number of biopsies conducted by up
to 75%, when compared with current screening methods alone.
“It was an obvious choice to partner with bioMérieux because of its
strategic focus on oncology, the market leadership of its VIDAS platform
and its extensive commercial network,” stated André Schrattenholz, Chief
Scientific Officer of ProteoSys.
“We are very pleased to work with ProteoSys to bring such an
innovative biomarker to urologists around the world,” declared Stéphane
Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of bioMérieux. “This agreement is yet
another building block in our high medical value test strategy.”
Annexin 3, also known as ANXA 3, was discovered by ProteoSys, a
German biotechnology company based in Mainz that specializes in the
fields of cell biology and proteomics. Studies have shown that ANXA 3
quantification in urine is a novel, non-invasive test with high
specificity for prostate cancer.
With current tests, when the levels of PSA (prostate specific
antigen) are in the uninformative 'grey zone', a biopsy is used to
provide definitive diagnosis. The ANXA 3 test would be used to provide
better identification of patients with a high probability of prostate
cancer, thereby reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies.
While complications are relatively rare, biopsies cause patient
anxiety and discomfort as well as extra cost to the healthcare system.
In the United States, only an estimated 15% of patients who undergo a
biopsy actually are diagnosed with prostate cancer, while each biopsy
costs over $1,000.
The first phase of research is beginning at bioMérieux, which will be
followed by the development of a diagnostic test for the VIDAS platform.
While the confirmatory diagnostic application on VIDAS will be the
initial focus, bioMérieux is also considering the development of
treatment decision and prognostic applications for ANXA 3, as described
in a leading publication2.
The ANXA 3 test will be complementary to the tPSA and FPSA tests
available on VIDAS. bioMérieux is developing a substantial panel of high
medical value assays for the VIDAS system, which already include VIDAS
B·R·A·H·M·S PCT for sepsis, VIDAS Clostridium difficile A & B, for
healthcare-associated infections, and VIDAS D-Dimer Exclusion, VIDAS
Troponin I, VIDAS CK-MB and VIDAS NT-proBNP for cardiovascular