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NuProbe, AcornMed to Develop Cancer Minimal Residual Disease Detection Products

NEW YORK – Molecular diagnostics firm NuProbe said Tuesday that it has reached a strategic collaboration agreement with Beijing-based AcornMed Biotechnology to develop products for minimal residual disease detection in genitourinary tract cancer and hematological cancer using NuProbe's blocker displacement amplification, or BDA, technology.

Based in Shanghai and Houston, NuProbe has developed a PCR enrichment technology to reduce wild-type amplification efficiency and enhance low-frequency mutation signals. According to the company, this allows its BDA method to selectively amplify low-abundance variants in a background of wild-type DNA.

The technology is broadly compatible with various molecular diagnostic platforms including PCR, first-generation capillary sequencing, next-generation high-throughput sequencing, third-generation single-molecule sequencing, and mass spectrometry of nucleic acids.

NuProbe and AcornMed aim to validate the chemistry for repeat testing of urine or plasma samples to monitor cancer treatment efficacy and guide clinician decision-making.

Feng Lou, chief technology officer and cofounder of AcornMed, said in a statement that the BDA technology's ability to increase mutation detection sensitivity makes it "very suitable for MRD detection products."

"AcornMed is the only company with both a proprietary genomic database in genitourinary tract tumors and the most comprehensive genomic database of blood malignancies in China," added Yingshuang Chai, CEO of NuProbe. "Combining their resources with our highly sensitive BDA technology, we expect to bring revolutionary products to the oncology field."

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.