Colorectal cancer test licensed

31 Jul 2008

Licence agreed for colorectal cancer test

Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), the oncology-focused development and commercialisation company, has agreed a non-exclusive licence with ArcticDx Inc. for the development of a test to help health professionals determine an individual’s predisposition to developing colorectal cancer.

The agreement allows for some results from Cancer Research UK funded genome-wide association studies to be integrated into the risk assessment technology. It is hoped this 'Colo Risk' technology, currently in development, will prove effective in assessing people who may be at higher risk of developing bowel cancer so they can receive tailor-made screening and lifestyle advice.

The technology will be based on recent genome-wide association studies which were the first to identify a number of common ‘genetic variants’ that increase bowel cancer risk. These are known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs appear more frequently in the DNA of people who have developed bowel cancer than of those free from, or at low risk, of developing the disease.

Greg Hines, chief executive officer of ArcticDx Inc. said: “With eight years expertise in the field of in vitro diagnostics development, we’re well placed to take forward these findings and combine them with work we have already done to process information on other risk factors such as age and body mass index which we know also contribute to increased risk of developing the disease. This saliva-based test will be commercially available by the end of this year.”

Dr Phil L’Huillier, CRT’s director of business management, said: “We are committed to ensuring that the most promising findings in the field of cancer research are developed into technology that can be used to fight cancer. This licence agreement with ArcticDx Inc.  incorporates important genetic findings into potentially workable technology which could help identify and manage people at higher risk of bowel cancer – it’s an exciting development.”