ValiRx Plc, a life science company with a focus on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised medicine, is pleased to announce that a cancer screening test biomarker called NAV3, one of the five patent family assets its subsidiary, ValiFinn Oy acquired from Pharmatest Services Oy ("Pharmatest") of Oulu, Finland (announced 05/01/12), has recently received patent approval by the European patent office (EPO).
The granting of this latest patent means that ValiRx now has a biomarker patent protection within Europe, alongside patents for its GeneICE technology across the world encompassing European territories the US, Canada and Australia.
NAV3 cancer biomarker
The NAV3 cancer screening test biomarker is part of an already well-developed cancer-screening test and ValiRx is now in a position to begin production of it, alongside marketing. As such, NAV3 is ready for use as a companion diagnostic in cancer therapeutic clinical trials.
This test enables the detection of cancer cells at the stage where chromosomal changes have just taken places and tumor development is just about to start. In cancer diagnostics, the detection of malignant cells as early as possible remains one of the most challenging diagnostic tasks.
ValiRx owns the patents and retains all commercial rights to each of the five patent family assets and is currently in negotiation with potential production and clinical partners. Sample kits have already been produced and trialed and several scientific publications have endorsed the technology. The ValiFinn biomarkers business unit enjoys a revenue stream, which is derived from the provision of contract research services to pharmaceutical companies who are utilising its library of biomarkers.
The use of Biomarkers in oncology therapeutics is one of the fastest growing areas in cancer diagnosis and monitoring and it is the growth of personalised medicine alongside support from regulatory agencies, that are the key factors behind the increasing demand for biomarkers, particularly in cancer research.
Personalised medicines are gaining popularity due to their ability to provide customised treatment to patients based on their genetic as well as medical profile. Since biomarkers help in predicting patient response to a compound, personalised medicines are increasingly using biomarkers to identify the patient population set that is more likely to respond to a particular drug therapy. Personalised medicines are also increasingly being used in targeted cancer therapies and as personalised medicines gain more importance and popularity, the demand for suitable biomarkers is also expected to increase.
Dr Satu Vainikka, CEO, commented: "The granting of this latest patent by the EPO further underpins our global geographic patent coverage and I believe, strongly vindicates our establishment of ValiFinn and our recent acquisition from Pharmatest of our Finnish biomarkers business, in this rapidly growing marketplace.