Molecular diagnostics provider Biocept has announced a new licensing agreement with pharmaceutical company Plus Therapeutics for its CNSide laboratory test. The expanded partnership comes after the two companies signed a laboratory services agreement in June 2022. .

CNSide is designed to detect, quantify, and monitor tumour status in leptomeningeal metastases (LM), and has the potential to help diagnose and manage cerebrospinal (CF) fluid malignancies.

The agreement between Biocept and Plus Therapeutics allows Plus Therapeutics to leverage CNSide in their clinical trials aimed at treating patients with carcinomas and melanomas suspected of having LM.

Plus Therapeutics is currently conducting the ReSPECT-LM Phase 1/2a dose-escalation clinical trial of Rhenium 186 Obisbemeda, a targeted radiotherapeutic designed for LM treatment. The preliminary results from Phase 1/Part A have been encouraging, paving the way for a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved Phase 1/Part B study.

Antonino Morales, CEO of Biocept, expressed his satisfaction with the evolving collaboration, emphasising the value of CNSide in LM disease management. He said: “We share their commitment to improving the lives of patients suffering from cancer of the central nervous system (CNS).”

He also highlighted the potential for future agreements with companies focused on CNS cancer treatments and the aim to establish CNSide as the standard of care under the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.

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Under the agreement, Plus Therapeutics will pay Biocept an upfront fee of $150,000 in stock, as well as fees for each CSF tumour cell enumeration analysis performed in Biocept’s CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited laboratory before the technology transfer is completed. Once the transfer is finalised, Plus will pay Biocept additional fees for each CNSide test they perform. The agreement also grants Plus the option to negotiate for third-party exclusivity with a $1,000,000 payment to Biocept.

This agreement builds upon the comprehensive laboratory services agreement initiated in June 2022 between the two companies.