Glide Pharmaceutical Technologies (Glide Pharma) announced that it has taken an exclusive worldwide licence to an innovative prostate cancer diagnostic technology from FScan, a Durham University spin-out company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Glide Pharma will pay an upfront fee, development and commercial milestone payments, and royalties on future product sales. Glide Pharma has also taken an option for additional exclusive licences to FScan diagnostic technologies, for use in other conditions.
The licensed technology pioneers the use of lanthanide complexes for the non-invasive, rapid and accurate measurement of citrate levels in seminal fluid. The link between citrate levels and prostate cancer is well documented, providing the opportunity to develop an effective diagnostic test. Further clinical validation of this approach is currently underway in studies co-ordinated by Professor Mark Emberton, Consultant Urologist at University College London.
The current routinely-used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) diagnostic has major limitations, with inaccurate results leading to large numbers of patients undergoing unnecessary additional testing and biopsy. A rapid, accurate, non-invasive test would meet a major unmet clinical need, and consequently has significant commercial potential. Estimates suggest that approximately 24 million PSA tests are conducted each year in the US alone, with the worldwide market valued at more than $2 billion.
Glide Pharma plans to provide the technology initially as an analyte specific reagent in the USA. In the longer-term, the company intends to develop a prostate cancer diagnostic test, and to pursue regulatory approval in the US and Europe.
"Licensing this novel diagnostic technology is an important strategic step for Glide as it broadens both our pipeline and technology base, offers the potential of early revenues, and longer-term plays to our strengths in device development and scale-up," said Dr Mark Carnegie-Brown, Glide Pharma’s CEO. "We believe this innovative technology has the potential to revolutionise the prostate cancer diagnostic market, where there is a clear need for an accurate, rapid non-invasive test. With our existing portfolio of therapeutics and vaccines making excellent progress, we plan to accelerate the development of this potentially important diagnostic alongside our lead programmes."
Kish Mistry, FScan’s CEO, commented, "We are delighted to have executed this agreement with Glide Pharma as they are very well positioned to move this promising technology forward for the benefit of clinicians and patients in the prostate cancer field."