Oryzon genomics and the pharmaceutical company Reig Jofré set up Geadic Biotec for the development of products for the early diagnosis and prognosis of cancer of the uterus
Oryzon genomics and the pharmaceutical company Reig Jofré have signed a technical collaboration agreement that will allow the development of new products for the early diagnosis and prognosis of cancer of the uterus. This agreement has been made official through the set up of the enterprise Geadic Biotec, which will invest approximately 2 million euros in the project over the next three years.
“This agreement is the first equal alliance between Oryzon and a pharmaceutical company. As such it implies a qualitative milestone in the development of our strategy of alliances and codevelopment projects with the pharmaceutical industry”, comments Carlos Buesa, CEO of Oryzon genomics.
Cancer of the uterus is the fourth most common type of cancer in women and the most common in the field of gynaecology. In five countries of the EU and the United Status alone, around 81,000 new cases of this cancer were recorded in 2005 and menopausal women are the most affected. “Specifically, the new early diagnosis product will provide a useful medical tool in cases of post-menopausal women that show vaginal bleeding or that are carriers of certain mutations related to DNA repair genes and with certain kinds of colorectal cancer, and women affected by breast cancer who have been treated with taximophen”, comments Buesa.
With a market estimated at 250 million euros, the product to be developed will provide an efficient screening tool for women with initial stage cancer. At present, in spite of improvements in this field, ultrasound diagnostic systems show low sensitivity and specificity. Consequently, definitive diagnosis is achieved through biopsies, an invasive and expensive method.
According to Buesa, “the latest breakthroughs in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics opens up the door to identify biomarkers, which are the bases for the development of new early diagnostic and non-invasive products. Early detection continues to be the best option for the oncologist and surgeon in the treatment of neoplastic disease. Collaboration with a specialized company that has extensive knowledge in this market niche, like Reig Jofre, reinforces our strategy to direct research efforts to molecular diagnosis”.
For Ignasi Biosca, managing director of Reig Jofré, “these new tools allow an increase in early diagnosis and thereby a notable decrease in the risk of mortality associated with this disease. Reig Jofré is devoting considerable efforts to the field of gynaecology and, in general, to advanced therapies. The agreement with Oryzon allows us access to biotechnology via a dynamic and leading company that is related to the sectors in which Reig Jofré operates”.
The codevelopment project, which will last 3 years in the R+D phase, also involves the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron and specialized clinics of international renown. Furthermore, it will include the combined genomic and proteomic analysis of hundreds of tumour samples, which will be studied by a multidisciplinary team of 20 researchers from the diverse groups involved.