Belgian Diagnostics Firm partners with Singapore to Tackle Breast Cancer

Biocartis has entered a 5-year partnership with Singapore to develop better diagnostics to determine the right therapy for breast cancer patients.

Biocartis is renewing its partnership with ETPL, the commercialization arm of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Back in 2015, they entered an agreement that gave the Belgian company access to novel biomarkers discovered at A*STAR’s research institutes. During the new partnership, which will last 5 years, both parties will co-invest in the development of diagnostic tests based on Biocartis’ Idylla platform. Financial details have not been disclosed.

The first test will be a solid biopsy assay for breast cancer to select the best therapy for each patient. Among others, the assay will include Her2 and hormone receptor biomarkers, which are starting to become part of routine breast cancer diagnostics. The Idylla technology, based on fully automated PCR workflows, could reduce the complexity of current diagnostics and improve the specificity and reproducibility of the results.

Breast cancer is the largest segment of the cancer diagnostics market, expected to reach €11.4Bn by 2020. Which means Biocartis is clearly not the only one trying to take some of that money. Among them are the Dutch Agendia, which has a test to determine whether chemotherapy is the right treatment for breast cancer; and Qiagen, with an assay to predict treatment response in poor-prognosis patients.


Image via Biocartis

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