mtm’s CINtec Cytology kit is a qualitative, immunocytochemical assay for the evaluation of p16INK4a, a biomarker indicative of the onset of cervical disease, and is available globally for the early detection and management of cervical cancer. CINtec Cytology visually stains cervical cells that are over-expressing the biomarker p16, which clinically correlates with the screened women who harbour underlying high grade cervical disease. The automated imaging solution that the two companies are now developing is targeted to achieve equal or better sensitivity and specificity compared to manual observation and evaluation of the cytology slides, but with a greater degree of efficiency. This will be done by adapting Metafer, a system developed by MetaSystems that offers a unique high performance slide scanning and imaging platform, to the specific needs for analyzing CINtec Cytology stained slides.

The agreement initially covers the co-development of the imaging system and will lead upon success to a co-promotion effort from both companies based on any successfully developed end product. The combined system that the two companies aim to develop should be a cost effective and highly efficient tool to assess large numbers of cytology slides to pinpoint those specimens showing over-expression of p16INK4a in the context of cervical cancer early detection and diagnosis.

Bob Silverman, Chief Executive Officer of mtm laboratories, commented on this agreement: MetaSystems offers very valuable tools for leveraging the well established clinical utility of mtm’s CINtec Cytology products in the early detection of cervical cancer. As a result we will together meet the market demand for automated solutions that have the potential to improve on current approaches to the early detection of cervical cancer”.

Andreas Plesch, Managing Director for MetaSystems, added: “mtm’s CINtec Cytology for cervical cancer detection is a complimentary technology that allows MetaSystems to expand into providing solutions for Cytology. We are excited by the success mtm has already had in bringing its diagnostic systems to the market and expect a high degree of synergy in combining mtm’s and MetaSystems’ technologies. We feel sure that the automated system we will develop together is well suited to the needs for accurate and efficient approaches for the early detection of cervical cancer.”