Pharus Diagnostics Signs Worldwide Exclusive License Agreement with City of Hope for Novel Biomarkers to Be Used in Liquid Biopsy Screening for Early Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

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LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Pharus Diagnostics (“PharusDx”) today announced a global exclusive license agreement with City of Hope cancer center for proprietary biomarkers to be used in early screening of individuals at risk for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). This license agreement marks a pivotal step with PharusDx to develop and commercialize a version of its OncoSweep™ liquid biopsy screening for the early detection of PDAC. OncoSweep™ aims to improve on the current standard for early diagnosis of PDAC, offering a non-invasive solution that has been shown in laboratory studies to be highly accurate.

PDAC is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer-associated mortality within the next decade in the United States, with a five-year relative survival rate of approximately 8.5%. The poor survival rate is mainly due to late-stage diagnosis, attributed to the pancreas’ deep location within the abdominal cavity. Early-stage PDAC often exhibits no noticeable symptoms that could indicate the disease.

City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States, is a pivotal leader in advancing research in the diagnosis of PDAC. The research breakthrough led by Ajay Goel, Ph.D., AGAF, chair of City of Hope’s Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics, is poised for further development and then commercialization into a liquid biopsy test that surpasses the accuracy of conventional PDAC screening. The agreement covers a set of microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers that have been shown to greatly improve sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value.

“We are excited about what we can bring to market using the licensed technology. An accurate diagnostic tool can greatly improve PDAC patient outcome, especially when surgical resection remains an option,” said PharusDx Chairman Bowei Lee. Lee is also Chairman of LCY Group, one of the major investors backing PharusDx, along with CK Life Sciences and CK Hutchison.

Goel, director of Biotech Innovations at City of Hope, added, “We are thrilled to collaborate with PharusDx on this important step in City of Hope’s quest to bring blood-based, noninvasive tests to people for the early detection of gastrointestinal cancers. This specific licensing opportunity is particularly meaningful given the increased burden of pancreatic cancer worldwide and the lethality of this disease.” (Goel is a compensated PharusDx advisory board member.)

The current challenge of asymptomatic early diagnosis of PDAC is anticipated to be addressed by PharusDx’s liquid biopsy miRNA test: OncoSweep™. This test is expected to offer a critical improvement to screening options for at-risk individuals, particularly asymptomatic adults with risk factors such as diabetes, older age, cigarette smoking, obesity, and a history of chronic pancreatitis. Using machine learning, OncoSweep™ distinguishes specific biomarker signatures unique to cancer patients, offering higher specificity and sensitivity than the conventional analytes alone. The test is cost-effective and can be integrated into existing health screening protocols.

OncoSweep™ is a near painless, accessible, and easily repeatable screening option. It is designed to detect asymptomatic disease early and preempt unnecessary invasive procedures, reducing the physical, emotional, and financial impact that PDAC has on patients. The anticipated highly accurate results could provide actionable insights for personalized treatments and better outcomes. Furthermore, early cancer diagnosis may significantly reduce long-term medical costs in the healthcare industry and ease the financial burden on payers, including governments, insurance companies, and individuals.

PharusDx is dedicated to advancing single and pan-cancer liquid biopsy screenings using cutting-edge proprietary technology. The company aims to commercialize a portfolio of products targeted to improve cancer screening. PharusDx is committed to a future where all cancers can be managed early for improved outcomes.

About Pharus Diagnostics

Pharus Diagnostics (“PharusDx”) is an innovative healthcare company headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, with offices in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. PharusDx’s vision is to become the premier provider of affordable and extensively deployed liquid biopsy tests for early cancer detection. Backed by prominent investors such as CK Life Sciences, CK Hutchison, and LCY Group, PharusDx is advancing the OncoSweep™ Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) and single-cancer liquid biopsy tests to provide a positive impact on cancer prognosis and patient outcomes.

For more information please visit https://www.pharusdx.com/, or write to hello@pharusdx.com

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