Yale Ovarian Cancer Detection Technology Licensed in China by SurExam

Jon Soderstrom and Jiasen Xu, CEO of SurExam ink the licensing agreement for commercialization of the technology for EOC detection developed by Gil Mor (upper left), while Carolyn Slayman, Deputy Dean of Yale Medical School and Zhinan Yin observe. [Photo by J. Damian/Yale]

Yale University Office of Cooperative Research today announced that it has granted an exclusive license agreement with the Chinese company SurExam Life Science & Technology (Shenzhen) Co. for the commercialization of the university’s blood testing technology for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

In the United States, EOC is the fourth most common cancer in women and the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death. EOC affects approximately 25,000 women each year, and more than 16,000 will die from the disease.

SurExam is a Chinese Bio-Pharma- ceutical company focusing on the research, development and promotion of products related to early cancer detection. The company’s target is to become the leading company in China in the field of diagnostic industry.

The Yale technology for EOC detection is based on analysis of a collection of known serum proteins associated with cancer biology. Each protein marker is assayed using a routine ELISA assay, then the panel of results is scored.

“SurExam is delighted to license the Yale technology for early detection of ovarian cancer in China — and to help to improve the health of women in our country,” said Dr. Jiasen Xu, CEO of SurExam. “As a Chinese scientist trained at Yale, I am honored that SurExam was chosen as the company to develop and commercialize Yale’s intellectual property in my motherland. I hope SurExam’s work will facilitate future collaboration between Yale and Chinese biotechnology companies.”

Gil Mor, MD

SurExam is a privately held company funded by private capital. The founders include scientists trained at Yale and other international institutions. The company’s scientific team is engaged in cutting-edge cancer research around the world, including universities in USA and China, according to CEO Xu.

Their management team is experienced in biomedical and related ventures and .SurExam has built strategic partnerships with several of the largest hospitals and top medical schools in China. They are engaged in several cancer research collaborations with these institutes.

Research at the heart of the technology was led by Gil Mor, MD, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale. A study featuring the technology was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 2005. Statistical analyses from a preliminary study of 206 women — 24 patients with early stage (I/II) EOC and 76 with later stage (III/IV) EOC — showed a higher sensitivity and specificity than current commercially available tests, and a positive predictive value. Yale expects to conduct additional clinical studies on the test technology prior to its commercial introduction.

“I am most excited to see a Chinese company license a Yale patent to develop diagnostic products in China,” said Zhinan Yin, M.D., assistant professor of Internal Medicine (Rheumatology) at Yale and Senior Scientific Consultant for SurExam. “This creates a new opening for the future of biotech partnerships between Yale and China.”

The Yale University Office of Cooperative Research (YU-OCR) manages the intellectual assets created at Yale. Information on licensing agreements is available through ocr@yale.edu or at http://www.yale.edu/ocr/ online

Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sciences, 102(21) May 24, 2005.

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Janet Rettig Emanuel: janet.emanuel@yale.edu, 203-432-2157