Exosome, Mount Sinai forge Dx development partnership

New York's Exosome Diagnostics will enlist Mount Sinai Medical Center's research expertise to concoct new molecular diagnostics focused on cancer, inflammation and other diseases that don't rely on tissue biopsies.

Neither side is disclosing financial terms for the 5-year deal, which will focus on body fluid molecular diagnostics. The gist: Exosome supplies the technology--equipment designed to spot disease-related genetic biomarkers in blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid--and Mount Sinai researchers will handle the research in the personalized medicine project.

Both sides win something. Exosome keeps commercial development rights for any molecular and in vitro diagnostic products that come out of the research. Mount Sinai, however, will hold onto molecular biomarkers discovered over the length of the collaboration that can gauge both drug response and disease progression. Considering the hospital is trying to monetize inventions at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, expect those to be part of a future licensing deal.

Exosome CEO James McCullough said in a statement that he sees the collaboration as a model for today's market "to develop products that can improve clinical outcomes, help advance drug development programs and lower healthcare costs."

In addition to linking to the academic world, Exosome is also forging ties with other related companies. Exosome recently partnered with Qiagen ($QGEN) to develop and commercialize cobranded kits designed to grab and process RNA and DNA from blood, urine or cerebrospinal fluid without the need for a tissue biopsy.

Exosome launched in 2008 and employs 25 people. The company has raised at least one round--a $20 million Series A financing in 2010--fueled by investors including NGN Capital and Forbion Capital Partners. Exosome recently submitted an updated regulatory filing that revealed it has raised $7 million of a planned $8.5 million round. An Exosome spokesman declined to comment to FierceDiagnostics, other than to say the financing is unrelated to the Mount Sinai news.

- read the release

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