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GEN News Highlights : May 22, 2013

Empire Genomics Nabs Prostate Cancer Biomarker from Cornell

Buffalo, NY-based Empire Genomics just acquired an exclusive license for a patent-pending genomic biomarker from Cornell University for its use in developing a molecular diagnostic test that could help physicians diagnose and determine treatment options for patients with neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC).

Empire Genomics says it intends to launch a genetic test to diagnose NEPC this year, and seeks to partner with pharmaceutical companies to use this assay for patient stratification in clinical trials.

"Each year, approximately, 30,000 men will die of advanced prostate cancer, most of whom will be treated with androgen suppression therapy, however, it is impossible to know just how many of them developed NEPC because patients are not typically biopsied at that stage of their disease," said Brian Kelly, Ph.D., director of technology commercialization and liaison at the Weill Cornell Medical College office of the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization. "We are delighted that Empire Genomics is now going to make this important diagnostic test available to this patient population and we look forward to working with the company and its seasoned management team."

"This clinical tool will be important as we move forward with precision medicine clinical trials for aggressive castration resistant prostate cancer lead by Dr. Himisha Beltran," added Mark Rubin, M.D., director of Weill Cornell's Institute for Precision Medicine.

Cornell's NEPC biomarker isn't the only one Empire Genomics has picked up in the past year: In November, the firm acquired an exclusive license for genomic biomarkers from Emory University for its use in developing a molecular diagnostic test to determine therapeutic options for patients with multiple myeloma.