Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers being the second most common cause of cancer in women and the third most common in men. At the same time colon cancer is the fourth common cause of cancer related death. Early detection of this disease increases both the therapeutic success and the chance of survival. Current diagnostic practice involves either uncomfortable invasive procedures or uses stool tests, the latter resulting in a high percentage of false-positive results. The collaboration between BioVendor, SCIENION and AIT aims to use biomarkers for the early detection and screening based on patients blood samples. In the project, AIT’s proprietary biomarkers will be developed into an easy-to-use in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) test kit. The technology takes advantage of the fact that specific tumor autoantibodies can be detected in blood of cancer patients in a very early stage of tumor development.
Development of an in-vitro test kit
The three companies will work closely together to develop the in-vitro diagnostic test for the global market. AIT provides their previously identified and patented biomarkers, specific for blood-based diagnosis of colon cancer. BioVendor, represented by its subsidiary company TestLine Clinical Diagnostics, will bring in its development expertise and distribution network. SCIENION contributes with its longstanding expertise in the microarray market and will be responsible for assay development and manufacturing using the company’s high-quality microtiter plates (sciPLEXPLATES).
Martin Weber, Head of the business unit Molecular Diagnostics at AIT, said: “We are entering the cooperation with BioVendor and Scienion extremely enthusiastic and we strongly believe that the newly formed consortium has the power to perfectly drive forward AITs breakthrough biomarker technologies into market-ready solutions.”
“We share the excitement expressed by Martin. Early, cost-efficient and non-invasive diagnosis of colon cancer is a largely unmet medical need that presents the newly formed consortium with an attractive commercial opportunity”, said Viktor Ružička, CEO of the BioVendor group.
Holger Eickhoff, CEO of SCIENION AG, commented: “We are very happy to expand our existing collaboration with BioVendor for this new project. Getting AIT with its proprietary biomarker panel on board as a third partner is the perfect match for the development of colon cancer IVD. Once established, our test kit has the potential for broad colon cancer screening applications.”
About the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
The AIT is Austria's largest non-university research institute and is, among European research institutes, a specialist in key infrastructure issues. The Molecular Diagnostics business unit focusses on biomarkers, assay development, bioinformatics and diagnostic biosensors and has several patents on biomarkers for cancer. The group combines innovative high throughput technologies with their own in-house workflow-based data analysis tools to support partners and customers in the ultimate goal of defining biomarkers for personalized medicine and early disease detection.
BioVendor is a developer and manufacturer of high-quality immunoassays, recombinant proteins, and antibodies. TestLine Clinical Diagnostics s.r.o. established in 1993, specializes in development, production and distribution of in vitro diagnostic kits for human and veterinary medicine. It is one of the most important producers and suppliers of diagnostic kits in the field of serology in the Czech Republic. Our products are routinely used throughout 40 countries around the world.
SCIENION AG and its US subsidiary SCIENION US, Inc. provide systems and services for the contact-free printing of biological and chemical agents for diagnostics, pharmaceutics, veterinary, plant and food analytics and research. Addressing the dynamically increasing needs for miniaturization and multiplex analyses, SCIENION offers a unique technology portfolio that has been continuously expanded over one decade. SCIENION provides flexible solutions for research and development whereas solutions for production purposes are rather customized. Systems and software are characterized by their versatility, precision and robustness. The company is renowned specialist for ultra low volume liquid handling, particularly for the handling of precious and sensitive compounds of biological or chemical origin. SCIENION’s dispensers allow for contact-free and precise drop spotting in the pico- to micro-liter range and are optimally suited for microarray based analytics – such as for tests with DNA, oligonucleotides, peptides, proteins, antibodies, glycans or for dispensing cells onto various substrates. The company operates from two sites in Germany, Dortmund and Berlin, and has a subsidiary in New Jersey, USA.