August 12, 2013

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Alberta, the Alberta government, and BGI Shenzhen are collaborating on accelerating the commercialization of a new metabolomics-based test for detecting pre-cancerous polyps with the formation of a new company, they announced today.

The company called Metabolomic Technologies was formed with help from business incubator TEC Edmonton to further develop, commercialize, validate, and market the test in Alberta and then globally. Richard Fedorak and Haili Wang from the University of Alberta led a research team that developed the test called PolypDx and founded Metabolomic Technologies.

The test detects colon polyps, precursors to colorectal cancer, and according to the collaborators, PolypDx has “significantly” higher detection accuracy than current fecal-based tests, is more easily administered, and provides faster results at lower costs. With more than C$1 million (US$971,000) in total project support, PolypDx is being validated and undergoing clinical trials in Alberta and China using BGI’s large-scale population screening resources.

“China is focusing on preventative medicine to avoid the burden of managing long-term chronic treatment costs, and MTI’s pre-colon cancer test aligns perfectly with our healthcare goals,” Yong Zhang, head of BGI’s proteomic division, said in a statement. “BGI is best positioned to co-develop MTI’s diagnostic tests for the Chinese market, assist with the regulatory process, and market the technology.”


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