Molecular diagnostics company Biocartis has partnered with HiloProbe to commercialise a gene expression test for colorectal cancer detection.

HiloProbe has developed a product based on research around biomarkers in colorectal cancer. ColoNode is an in vitro diagnostics (IVD) gene expression test that detects and characterises tumour cells in patients after surgery via colorectal lymph node samples.

According to Hiloprobe, it has discovered several biomarkers that identify tumour cells in lymph node. It can grade tumour cell aggressiveness and, consequently, the propensity to travel to other regions in the body. The kit can analyse up to 100% of lymph node volume and is more sensitive than H&E staining, the routine method of examining lymph nodes. H&E staining’s challenges include the necessity of specially trained pathologists and the limitation that it examines less than 1% of lymph node volume and cannot detect aggressiveness.

The partnership will initially focus on the ColoNode test and Biocartis, based in Mechelen, Belgium, will commercialise the manual kit, which is CE-marked, and distribute it to laboratories in selected European countries. Depending on uptake, development of an automated version will be considered on Biocartis’ Idylla platform – a real time, PCR-based molecular testing system.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there were more than 1.9 million new cases of colorectal cancer in 2020. GlobalData predicts the colorectal cancer market to be worth $10.7bn by 2029 and there is ongoing research to develop reliable and accurate liquid biopsy tests.

“Further development of a fully automated version of ColoNode on the Idylla platform also holds great potential for ColoNode to contribute faster and more easily to the safer selection of patients who could benefit from postoperative adjuvant treatment,” said Lina Olsson, CEO of HiloProbe.

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By GlobalData