After serving as a longtime provider of screening assays and instruments for diagnosing cancer, BD is broadening its reach in oncology by acquiring tests that monitor patients for recurrence following treatment.
The medtech company has bought Cytognos, a Spain-based developer of blood tests for tracking minimal residual disease—or the minuscule amounts of cancer cells left floating in the bloodstream while a patient is in remission.
The objective of the deal, made for an undisclosed amount, is to expand BD’s portfolio of flow-cytometry-powered diagnostics for blood cancers including lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma. The transaction covers immune system assessment tests and informatics solutions for oncologists as well.
The acquisition also carries BD into a growing research space of supersensitive tests for minimal residual disease—where companies such as Illumina’s Grail and Exact Sciences’ Thrive Earlier Detection, among many others, are developing their own diagnostics focused on the repeated screening of cancer patients to track the effects of therapy.
“As the understanding and treatment of cancer evolves and improves, the importance of monitoring post remission cancer survivors has become paramount to improve patient outcomes,” Puneet Sarin, worldwide president of BD Biosciences, said in a statement.
Cytognos, previously a division of Spanish diagnostics company Vitro, will also grant BD exclusive access to a series of assays previously licensed from the EuroFlow Consortium, an independent network of hematology and immunology researchers from more than 20 universities and hospitals on the continent.
These flow cytometry tests would be added on top of ones that BD has procured from EuroFlow through its own 12-year licensing collaboration with the group.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Cytognos-owned diagnostic products have yet to undergo FDA review or enter the U.S. market; they previously have been available in Europe under a CE mark and in other countries.
by Conor Hale
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