Becton Dickinson, UPenn spinout to develop heart attack blood Dx test

Becton Dickinson ($BDX) will ally with a University of Pennsylvania spinout to develop a new blood diagnostic test that gauges heart attack and stroke risk for individual patients, bringing it into an increasingly competitive market space.

Specifically, BD division BD Biosciences forged the deal with CytoVas, a Philadelphia startup. Neither side is disclosing the financial details. But the deal accomplishes a couple of crucial things. CytoVas developed the test technology, known right now as the Vascular Health Profile. And by signing the agreement, the company gains large pockets to help fuel its clinical development on a larger scale. In turn, BD gains technology that it can license when it reaches commercialization, or buy outright, depending on the fine print of their alliance agreement.

Their deal involves using the Vascular Health Profile blood test to see how well it can measure the advance of cardiovascular disease. As well, they'll use it to see how well existing and investigational drugs work, in terms of effectiveness and side effects.

BD/CytoVas bill the test as being the first that can potentially help physicians determine individual patient risk for heart attack/stroke, and also aide in treatment decisions. That may be, but a number of companies are developing, testing or newly marketing blood diagnostics tests designed to speed diagnosis of a heart attack or stroke, or identify patients at high risk of developing one (speedier treatment is crucial for both heart attacks and strokes, to avoid lasting damage). Nanomix, Abbott ($ABT), BG Medicine and Roche ($RHHBY) are among the robust competition, though each company's test has its own unique twist.

- read the release

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