Exclusive license agreement on a biomarker in bladder cancer
Abbott acquires Exclusive Patent Rights on FGFR3 Gene Mutations in Bladder Cancer Held by Institut Curie, CNRS, and Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, Following the Work of François Radvanyi (CNRS Research Director at the Institut Curie) in association with the team of pathologists of the Henri Mondor Hospital. The FGFR3 biomarker can be used from urine or tumor samples for early detection, monitoring, and prognosis in bladder cancers. This license allows Abbott to increase his scientific involvement and leadership in molecular diagnostics and in the field of bladder cancer.
Mutations in the FGFR3 gene have been demonstrated in 70% of low-grade cancer cases and 15 to 20% of high-grade cancer cases. "The study of FGFR3 mutations has many clinical applications: early detection and disease surveillance, and prognosis of disease progression, which allows doctors to improve patient management, and thus the quality "commented Dr. Michael Cookson, Head of the Department of Urology at the University of Oklahoma's Faculty of Medicine and a long-time member of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network's Advisory Board.
About 75,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Most patients with localized cancer (stages 0 to 2) can be treated successfully by surgery and chemotherapy. Nine out of ten patients with stage 1 cancer have a remission of 5 years or more.
"The discovery of FGFR3 mutations is one of the promising advances in research for understanding bladder cancer and improving patient management," according to Monica Smith, executive director of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.
Abbott is already marketing UroVysion, the only urine test approved by the FDA for bladder cancer, and is listed in the recommendations of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and European Association of Urology.
"By offering two tests, FGFR3 mutations and UroVysion, we will be able to help physicians diagnose earlier more patients at a more effective stage of treatment," said Susan Jewell, Associate Director of Business Scientists, Department of Molecular Diagnostics, at Abbott.
Initially, the FGFR3 mutation test will be available in early 2015 through PersonalizeDx, Abbott's laboratory of medical biology, which will complement the growing range of tests in the field of urology. In addition, Abbott Molecular is developing other tests and is exploring the possibility of collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to use the FGFR3 as a companion diagnostic for new bladder cancer therapies.