BioChain announced that it has entered a strategic license agreement with Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt Prime Standard: ECX, OTCQX: EPGNY), a German-American cancer molecular diagnostic company, on the development and commercialization of a novel, blood-based lung cancer test for China.
BioChain will initiate a clinical trial to validate the lung cancer detection test with the goal to gain market approval by the CFDA. The trial is expected to start in 2016. The product development will be based on Epigenomics’ novel panel of blood-based DNA methylation biomarkers that has shown promising results in a clinical validation study.
Under the terms of the agreement, Epigenomics will receive undisclosed upfront, milestone and minimum annual payments as well as mid single-digit royalty on future revenues. In view of the high, rapidly growing prevalence of lung cancer among the Chinese population, the commercialization of a novel, blood-based test represents a major business opportunity for both companies. Epigenomics is entitled to commercialize this product in other markets outside China.
“The agreement with BioChain is a major milestone in our strategy to fully exploit the commercial potential of our innovative, blood-based cancer tests,” commented Dr. Thomas Taapken, CEO/CFO of Epigenomics AG. “Lung cancer diagnosis remains challenging worldwide and we are convinced, that blood-based testing has the potential to address the high unmet medical need in this field. Based on the existing successful cooperation with BioChain in the development and commercialization of a colorectal cancer screening test for China, we look forward to extending our partnership on lung cancer going forward.”
Grace Tian, CEO of BioChain, stated: “We are excited to enter this agreement with Epigenomics. This is an obvious choice for us. Gaining the Chinese FDA approval and market demand of Septin9 is a success story that we look forward to repeating in the future. The strength of our collaboration stems from the fact that I believe we are doing something wonderful. Lowering cancer mortality with early diagnosis is a mission we are eager to pursue.”
In 2013, BioChain and Epigenomics had entered into a license agreement on the development and commercialization of a Septin9-based colorectal cancer blood-test for China. BioChain has successfully introduced the test into the Chinese market in 2015.