Applied Proteomics to develop pancreatic and colon cancer Dx with German research institute

Applied Proteomics CEO Peter Klemm

San Diego's Applied Proteomics sealed a deal with Germany's largest biomedical research institute to develop new blood diagnostic tests for pancreatic and colon cancers.

Financial terms aren't being disclosed, a spokesperson told FierceDiagnostics.

Applied Proteomics' collaboration agreement with Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ, or the German Cancer Research Center) comes nearly two months after it nailed down a $28 million Series C funding round to pursue final development work for a molecular diagnostics blood test that looks for precursors to colorectal cancer by reading conversations between bodily proteins.

This partnership represents a smart collaboration for Applied Proteomics. The DKFZ, which is based in Heidelberg, has more than 1,000 scientists (out of 2,500 employees) focused on how cancer develops, looking for cancer risks and new ways to prevent people from getting it. Applied Proteomics, on the other hand, would use the same technology involved in its colon cancer test to develop new tests with the DKFZ team for colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

Applied Proteomics' core platform is designed to tap into conversations between bodily proteins that can serve as an early warning system for disease, the company explained. It is typically used in conjunction with a mass spectrometry machine that looks for previously defined disease biomarkers.

Herrmann Brenner, chair of the DKFZ's division of clinical epidemiology and aging research, said in a statement that there is a major unmet need for new diagnostic tests designed to spot patients at high risk of colon and pancreatic cancers. Both can be very hard to treat and are often caught at an advanced stage, when treatment options are limited.

Regarding its initial colorectal cancer test, Applied Proteomics hopes to complete clinical validation studies for its test in the coming months. The goal is also to finish the CLIA certification process by the first half of 2014 for the company's lab now under construction.

CEO Peter Klemm previously told FierceDiagnostics that Applied Proteomics is separately considering development of an Alzheimer's companion diagnostic, and that negotiations with a potential partner are ongoing.

- read the release

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