Erganeo and METHYS Dx announce news of an exclusive licensing agreement for the use of diagnostic biomarkers via liquid biopsy.
Detecting a tumour requires conducting an analysis that demonstrates the presence of tumour biomarkers, measurable substances used as indicators of a tumour’s presence and nature. Detecting tumour biomarkers via biopsies on tissue samples is a method that is commonly used but invasive for patients and often complex to carry out. Cancer-specific biomarkers are also present in the bloodstream. The ability to analyse these biomarkers in the blood (liquid biopsy) is currently being developed, but poses a number of technical challenges, notably due to low concentration levels in the blood. In particular, detecting circulating tumour DNA could potentially play a vital role in strategies surrounding preventing and detecting cancerous cells in patients.
Research conducted by Dr Valérie Taly (Director of Research at the CNRS) and Professor Pierre-Laurent Puig (PU-PH, Professor at the Université Paris Cité and hospital-based practitioner at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital - AP-HP) has paved the way for the honing of a new process for detecting tumour biomarkers in the bloodstream based on characterising methylation patterns specific to tumour DNA.
This method of in vitro detection and analysis is minimally invasive as it requires nothing more than a blood sample, and is capable of ensuring these universal cancer markers are detected early, with high efficiency rates. Whether in the context of primary tumours or metastases, circulating tumour DNA reflects genetic and epigenetic damage to all cancerous cells in the body, without being restricted to targeted areas, as is the case when running tumour biopsies. This method seamlessly aligns with the development of personalised medical approaches to oncology.
Backed by Erganeo since 2016, three patents have already been filed for this technology, leading to the start-up METHYS Dx launching in 2021, led by the research team and fuelled by its work. The current developments METHYS Dx is focusing on concern detection and follow-up for pancreatic, stomach, lung, colon and endometrial cancer. A collaboration is now under-way with the CNRS (ESPCI Paris - team led by Dr Yannick Rondelez and Dr Guillaume Gines, both founding members of the start-up). Furthermore, this joint effort has helped improve detectability for targeted biomarkers thanks to a ground-breaking molecular amplifier process.
On 7 December 2022, Erganeo and METHYS Dx signed an exclusive licensing agreement for the use of the biomarker-related patents. The start-up aims to kick off a first clinical trial with market launch estimated for 2026.