London, 30 June 2014 – Gensignia Ltd ("Gensignia"), the leading molecular diagnostics company today announces that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with TTFactor S.r.l. (“the Licensor”), acting on behalf of the FIRC (the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research) Institute for Molecular Oncology (IFOM), and the European Institute of Oncology (IEO). Gensignia’s partnership with these leading cancer institutions will enable further development and research into genomic biomarkers for lung cancer and breast cancers, with the prospect of extending this into other indications such as ovarian cancers.
This partnership agreement will allow a far-reaching program to exploit the detection of microRNAs in the blood to perform early diagnosis of cancers. In the case of lung cancer, the levels of a small group of microRNA’s can be detected, which in turn reveals the presence of lung cancer in the very initial phase of the disease. This is of paramount importance due to the direct link between high mortality rates in lung cancer and most cases of lung cancer being diagnosed at a late stage, when the disease has metastasized and spread to other parts of the body. At this point surgery to cure the cancer is either impossible or ineffective.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, killing more people annually than breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer combined. However if lung cancer can be detected more frequently at an early stage, before it has spread and while it is still local, survival rates are much higher. Gensignia’s collaboration with the IEO & IFOM will broaden its intellectual property portfolio and microRNA franchise.
On signing the agreement Gabriele Cerrone, Chairman& Founder of Gensignia said: “We are very excited to go into partnership with IEO, one of Europe’s leading breast cancer institutes. Notably this gives Gensignia a new entry into developing microRNA-based breast cancer tests. The agreement will also give us the capability to further develop our microRNA-based signatures for the early detection of tumours in lung, ovarian and other cancers.”
Professor Pier Paolo Di Fiore, a leading specialist in the field of molecular oncology and director of the Cellular Logistics in Cancer research unit at the Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM), commented on the agreement saying “I believe that Gensignia’s microRNAs represent one of the most promising classes of cancer biomarkers I have come across. The biomarkers potentially have several projected applications in several areas of clinical oncology including diagnostic anticipation, personalised medicine and targeted therapy. I look forward to working closely with the Gensignia team to develop this further for cancer patients."
Gensignia Life Sciences Inc
Philip Boyd +44 (0)20 7493 2853
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP
Liam Murray / Avi Robinson +44 (0)20 7148 7900
Beaufort Securities Limited
Saif Janjua +44 (0)20 7382 8300
Martin Barrow +44 (0)20 7395 0444
Notes to Editors
Gensignia Ltd is a London-based privately held microRNA company with its founding research team in Milan, Italy and a wholly owned San Diego based subsidiary, Gensignia Life Sciences, Inc. With its laboratory operations in San Diego, Gensignia is pursuing a unique “Dx/Rx” business model in oncology. Gensignia is developing proprietary molecular diagnostic blood tests designed to provide more accurate detection of cancer as well as developing complementary therapeutics. For more information go to http://www.gensignia.com
TTFactor is the technology transfer company of the European Institute of Oncology and the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology with the mission of supporting researchers and clinicians in evaluating the commercial potential of their research, promoting relationships with industry to foster further potential industrial applications. Typical TTF activities include patent filing, licensing, sponsored research agreements and spin off creation. For more information go to www.ttfactor.com
The European Institute of Oncology (IEO) is a non-profit “Comprehensive Cancer Center” integrating clinical activity with research and training. It represents an innovative model for health service and advanced research in oncology at a global level. Aligned with the most advanced international oncology centres standards, the European Institute of Oncology has developed a fully integrated model providing prevention, diagnosis, health education, training and research, a model achieved through a deep cross-talk between clinical scientific research and an innovative management, in a context of continuous attention to the quality of the service delivered to patients.
IFOM - Founded in 1998 by FIRC (the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research), the Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) is a cancer research institute focused on the study of cancer formation and development at molecular level, with a view to a rapid transfer of results from bench to bedside.