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Diagnostics Developer, Mt. Sinai to Partner on Biomarkers

DNA fragment (Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

Exosome Diagnostics and Mount Sinai medical center, both in New York, are collaborating on the discovery of genetic biomarkers to build diagnostics for inflammation, cancer, and other diseases. Financial aspects of the five-year agreement were not disclosed.

Exosome Diagnostics develops diagnostics based on biomarkers derived from bodily fluids, such as blood, urine, plasma, serum, and cerebrospinal fluid. Exosomes — nanoscale cell membranes believed to contain a variety of proteins and genetic materials — are contained in bodily fluids and used by cells to deliver these molecules to other cells. The company says exosomes are also stable and can be used either fresh or frozen with equal results.

The samples can then be analyzed with genetic tests such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or high-throughput sequencing. The key advantage of diagnostics from exosomes, says the company, is the ability to take repeated genetic snapshots of diseases for diagnostics or therapies, without taking tissue samples needing surgical biopsies.

Under the agreement, Exosome Diagnostics will provide technical assistance to Mount Sinai researchers using the company’s biomarker technology, including pre-market access to product upgrades. Mount Sinai will retain intellectual property rights to molecular biomarkers associated with disease progression and drug response discovered as a result of the deal. Exosome Diagnostics will receive a license to commercially develop lab diagnostics based on those biomarkers.

The deal was negotiated with Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, the medical center’s technology transfer division. Blue Mountain Technologies, a unit of Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, aims to bring the reagents, antibodies, and biomarkers discovered in Mount Sinai labs to market.

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