Treating cancer is a primary goal of many biotech companies, but for any treatment to begin, physicians need a definitive diagnosis. We know that time is critical in disease diagnosis and initiating treatment sooner translates to better patient outcomes more often than not. The field of diagnostics is the yin to medical treatment’s yang. They go hand in hand.
By now, you’ve all heard the story of Theranos, the infamous breakthrough health technology company that promised to revolutionise the way we detect disease via blood tests. At its peak it was valued at USD $10 billion before it all came crashing down. But Elizabeth Holmes’ vision wasn’t as far-fetched as you’d think, with multiple companies (legitimately) working to improve the way we do diagnostics, particularly for cancer.
INOVIQ Limited (ASX: IIQ) is one such diagnostic focussed company seeking to commercialise their pan-cancer biomarker Neu5Gc. Despite not being the sexiest or most memorably named biomarker out there, Neu5Gc is useful, having been found in multiple human cancers including breast, ovarian, prostate and others. INOVIQ has a diagnostics pipeline utilising the biomarker for monitoring of breast and ovarian cancers as well as the detection of Neu5Gc in the body in general via simple blood tests.
The Company has been awarded an Australian patent for the marker entitled “subtilase cytotoxin B subunit mutant”. CEO Dr Leearne Hinch said: “this patent enforces intellectual property protection in Australia for INOVIQ’s SubB2M-based diagnostics pipeline for monitoring of breast and ovarian cancers. This is the first patent granted for the SubB2M technology patent family.”
The SubB2M technology underpinning the biomarker has already been clinically validated in numerous evaluations. US-based contract diagnostics company Research Dx has signed a Master Services Agreement for further development of the product. A Master Manufacturing Agreement has also been signed with MP Biomedicals Asia Pacific who will manufacture the product for commercial distribution.
INOVIQ has two products already on market- one to detect bladder cancer and another to capture cellular products for research purposes.
The cancer diagnostics market is forecast to be worth a huge $249.6 billion by 2026, representing a massive commercial opportunity for INOVIQ if their pan-cancer probe lives up to its name.