Collaboration and equity investment to provide Genetron Health with significant know-how in immune profiling and accelerate MRD product development in hematologic cancer
BEIJING, Oct. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genetron Holdings Limited (“Genetron Health” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: GTH), a leading precision oncology company in China that specializes in offering molecular profiling tests, early cancer screening products and companion diagnostics development, today announced that it has entered an exclusive licensing agreement with Hangzhou ImmuQuad Biotechnologies Co., Ltd (ImmuQuad) to develop and commercialize Seq-MRD, a diagnostic assay for the detection and monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) in select hematologic cancers.
Under the agreement, Genetron Health has exclusive rights to research, develop, commercialize, and manufacture MRD detection products or testing methods in select hematologic cancers using ImmuQuad’s Seq-MRD globally. ImmuQuad is eligible to receive high single-digit royalties on product sales for 10 years following commercialization. Separately, Genetron Health has made a minority equity investment in ImmuQuad.
ImmuQuad is a leading biotechnology company in China focused on developing an immune profiling platform for clinical diagnostics and life sciences research. The Company’s proprietary immunomics platform employs next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to read and decode the diverse genetic code of a patient’s adaptive immune system and applies it in key areas, encompassing MRD monitoring for hematologic cancers (i.e. Seq-MRD), early disease detection and cellular therapies discovery and development.
MRD refers to the small number of cancer cells that can remain in a patient’s body after treatment and may eventually cause recurrence of the disease. Over the past few years, ImmuQuad has developed Seq-MRD as a clinical diagnostic tool to assess treatment effectiveness, provide ultra-sensitive monitoring and guide therapy maintenance intensity in hematologic cancer patients. ImmuQuad has validated Seq-MRD data with thousands of clinical samples covering primarily acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and multiple myeloma (MM).
Compared to the current standard of flow cytometry, Seq-MRD offers higher sensitivity and less required sample quantity, and is being further developed to offer significantly more convenient sample options via either bone marrow aspirate or peripheral blood. Genetron Health will conduct further validation of Seq-MRD in MM, chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) to expand the clinical utility to cover more patients. In China, the total addressable market is promising for Seq-MRD. In 2017, it was estimated that there were approximately 135,000 newly diagnosed patients with T or B-cell lymphoid malignancies, including about 80,000 in NHL, 35,000 in ALL and CLL, and around 20,000 in MM, respectively. In terms of prevalence, the total number of patients in these cancers were approximately two to four times of the newly diagnosed numbers1, and Seq-MRD could become a standard MRD test in both new and existing patients. Outside of MRD, ImmuQuad’s immune profiling platform also bears significant market potential in early detection and drug discovery, and with Genetron’s equity investment, active R&D plans in these areas are currently underway.
“ImmuQuad is a pioneer in NGS-based immune profiling with significant first mover advantage in China. Their R&D portfolio in the field of hematologic cancer is highly complementary to Genetron Health’s solid tumor focused diagnostics portfolio,” said Sizhen Wang, co-founder and CEO of Genetron Health. “This licensing agreement accelerates our R&D expertise in the field of MRD testing for hematologic cancers and strengthens our comprehensive diagnostics offering. ImmuQuad’s MRD data is encouraging and we plan to advance the validation in larger cohort studies in multiple hematologic cancer types. We are also excited about ImmuQuad’s promising technology platform, which represents significant market potential. With our equity investment, we plan on working together to advance their immune profiling platform and broadening commercial opportunities in drug discovery in China and other key markets.”
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About Genetron Holdings Limited
Genetron Holdings Limited (“Genetron Health” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: GTH) is a leading precision oncology platform company in China that specializes in cancer molecular profiling and harnesses advanced technologies in molecular biology and data science to transform cancer treatment. The Company has developed a comprehensive oncology portfolio that covers the entire spectrum of cancer management, addressing needs and challenges from early screening, diagnosis and treatment recommendations, as well as continuous disease monitoring and care. Genetron Health also partners with global biopharmaceutical companies and offers customized services and products. For more information, please visit ir.genetronhealth.com.
About Hangzhou ImmuQuad Biotechnologies Co., Ltd (ImmuQuad)
Located in Hangzhou, China, ImmuQuad focuses on decoding the adaptive immune system to renovate the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Its self-developed immune profiling platform can reveal and translate the genetic code of the adaptive immune system and can be applied to the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of immune-mediated diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. ImmuQuad will continue to decode the adaptive immune system and transform its understandings into new products with high-precision and high-efficiency to improve the quality of patients' medical treatment.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements regarding the potential benefits and research & development plans under the licensing agreement with ImmuQuad. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the Company’s beliefs and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, and a number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by words or phrases such as “may”, “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “target,” “aim,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “potential,” “continue,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. Further information regarding these and other risks, uncertainties or factors is included in the Company’s filings with the SEC. All information provided in this press release is as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake any duty to update such information, except as required under applicable law.
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