Japan-based Fujikura Kasei will exercise its option to licence the midkine (MK) diagnostic technology and will make a JPY40 million ($403,000) payment as milestone fee to Australia-based Cellmid.

The companies signed the option to license agreement in February 2013. Under those terms, Cellmid supplied Fujikura with its anti-midkine diagnostic antibodies for validation on Fujikura’s latex platform.

However, proceeding to a license agreement has been conditional – the Japanese firm had to reach accuracy of 500 picogram/ml midkine on its latex diagnostic platform, which uses Cellmid’s antibodies.

Fujikura has achieved this milestone and reached the required accuracy.

The companies will now move forward with a supply and license agreement to develop and sell multiple cancer diagnostic products, which will use Fujikura’s latex assay with Cellmid’s MK antibodies.

Fujikura will gain the exclusive rights to use Cellmid’s antibodies for latex based tests and in exchange, it will pay royalties on the products sold. The Japanese firm will also bear the costs for product development and marketing.

A latex based test with a 500 picogram/ml accuracy can be used in identifying individuals with higher midkine levels, which in turn may lead to development of several diagnostic products for cancer.

Cellmid will support Fujikura’s regulatory and product development programmes.