Diagnoplex and Unilabs sign agreement to market colon cancer screening test

22.10.2013 08:10

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Diagnoplex SA, a developer of molecular diagnostics for colorectal cancer and Unilabs, a leading supplier of clinical laboratory and medical diagnostic imaging services in Europe, signed a collaboration agreement to commercialize Colox, a minimally invasive colorectal cancer assay within the Unilabs network. The test will be available initially in the Swiss and Swedish markets.

The agreement combines Diagnoplex’s capacity to develop “high-return” molecular assays with Unilabs’ leading position in the European diagnostics market. The agreement builds on a solid collaborative effort between the two companies and enables Unilabs to further differentiate itself through innovative molecular testing.

“This agreement opens a new and exciting chapter for Diagnoplex” said Stavros Therianos, founder and CEO of Diagnoplex SA. “We are able to enter into a strong collaboration with a European market leader such as Unilabs thanks to a patient- focused strategy for clinical product development. This collaboration demonstrates that a step-by-step approach, for the development of molecular screening tests, can effectively lead to the commercial availability of medically relevant diagnostics”.

Fernando de Górgolas, Unilabs Group Marketing & Business Development Director, said, “This collaboration with Diagnoplex is consistent with our strategy of launching innovative tests, that can bring a real benefit to patients and the healthcare community. Colox will strengthen the role of our molecular genetics laboratories in the diagnosis and monitoring of colorectal cancer.”

Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board of Debiopharm Group - a lead investor in Diagnoplex - agreed, adding “We are delighted that Diagnoplex has been able to establish this collaboration with an important actor in diagnostic market. We believe the Colox blood test has the potential to greatly increase the percentage of people that will be correctly screened for colorectal cancer”.

Other investors of Diagnoplex SA include NeoMed, Novartis Bioventures and Initiative Capital Romandie. Bourgeois Avocats in Lausanne, Switzerland, were involved with legal aspects of the collaboration agreement.

About Diagnoplex
Diagnoplex’s lead product, Colox, is a convenient and minimally invasive blood test developed for the systematic screening of colorectal cancer. The gene signature underlying Colox has been designed to detect early and advanced disease stages with outstanding results and reliability.

Colox leverages the information from nucleic acids carried by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). PBMCs are instrumental for tumor-host interactions, the so-called “host response”, and are involved at the earliest stages of tumor formation. Our ability to screen for the host response enables us to detect colorectal cancer risk at the earliest and even pre-cancerous stages.

Diagnoplex was founded in 2005 and is based in Lausanne.

About Unilabs
Unilabs is a leading diagnostic services company operating more than 120 laboratories and 44 radiology units in Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Customers are public and private healthcare providers, county councils, the general public, insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and CROs.

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