Clarient and BioView have reported that they will collaborate on studies to validate the clinical utility of a non-invasive test for the early detection of non-small cell lung cancer.

The test, which uses a patient’s sputum and was originally developed at the University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Center, is expected to be particularly useful to aid in the diagnosis of early stage lung cancer for smokers and other at-risk populations.

The agreement between the two companies provides Clarient the right to negotiate an exclusive agreement to commercialise the test following its joint development and validation.

According to the companies, the test uses DNA probes licensed to BioView by Anderson Cancer Center and BioView’s proprietary Target Fluorescence in situ Hybridisation (T-FISH) technology, to screen for specific genetic biomarkers that may indicate the presence of cancer cells in sputum.

Dr. Schwebel, president and chief executive officer of BioView, said: “The sensitivity and specificity obtained to date in our internal studies are better than other non-invasive methods available for aiding in the early detection of lung cancer. Initial internal studies of the test have demonstrated its validity. FISH is a well-established diagnostic tool that is the basis of BioView’s technology.

“We are excited to have Clarient, with its long history of collaborating with academia and innovative companies in developing novel oncology tests utilizing biomarkers, as our first partner to develop a test based on our proprietary probes and technologies. We are confident that our collaboration with Clarient will successfully help to develop, validate and commercialize the test through its established pathways to the market.”

Ron Andrews, chief executive officer of Clarient, said: “This test has promise to become a valuable diagnostic and prognostic tool for determining the risk of lung cancer for many patients, but particularly for smokers.

“Lung cancer continues to be an area of focus in the coming months for Clarient and we are particularly interested in working with pharmaceutical companies that are developing smoking cessation drugs. We look forward to our collaboration with BioView on these confirmatory studies and possible commercialisation of this test.”