Eindhoven, The Netherlands – Molecular diagnostics company Biocartis and Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) today announced the signing of an agreement that will result in Biocartis acquiring Philips’ technology platform for rapid fully-automated DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing. The platform has been designed for applications in a wide range of patient sample testing, including oncology and infectious diseases. Financial details of this agreement were not disclosed.
Biocartis will develop and commercialize the platform, together with a menu of tests, through strategic partnerships and will finalize validation of the platform at its newly-established and wholly-owned Dutch subsidiary Biocartis BV. Biocartis BV is based on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where it will benefit from close access to the multi-disciplinary R&D facilities and services of Philips Corporate Technologies.
"This agreement is transformational for Biocartis as it accelerates our plans to bring innovative and cost-effective molecular diagnostic solutions that can turn personalized medicine into practice," says Rudi Pauwels, CEO of Biocartis. "From our inception, we have been on a quest to integrate a clinical sample preparation and processing technology to complement our own developments. The platform developed by Philips clearly stood out as an impressive, integrated solution in terms of architecture choices, functionality, flexibility and bears the signature of a world-class engineering team."
"We are extremely pleased that in Biocartis we have found a highly innovative and entrepreneurial partner that is committed to bringing a cutting-edge molecular diagnostics platform to market based on advanced technology developed by Philips," says Gottfried Dutiné, Executive Vice President of Philips and Global Head of Markets & Innovation. "Biocartis' vision of the future of molecular diagnostics, the technologies they have developed within the space of a few years and the proven track record of its key management in the pharmaceutical and diagnostic sector have convinced us of the value of this agreement."
Under the terms of the agreement, all platform-related assets, including the relevant Philips patents and technology know-how, plus a number of existing Philips staff members, will be transferred to Biocartis. Biocartis will finance future developments and be responsible for commercialization of the platform. It will accelerate the development program by leveraging Philips’ expertise in product engineering and life science technologies through extensive collaborations.
DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic tests will become increasingly important in providing vital information on a patient’s state of health at every stage of the care cycle – from prevention and early diagnosis to treatment, monitoring and after care. To make effective use of existing and new DNA/RNA biomarkers and to fully realize the potential of personalized medicine, new solutions are needed to make the required tests more widely available. This will be the focus of Biocartis.
At the same time, it will be essential to integrate, analyze and present all the available patient data in an intelligent way. Philips will focus its research program in this area on the integration of molecular diagnostic information into clinical decision support systems with the objective to help clinicians to arrive at the correct diagnosis and choice of therapy. Through its ongoing technical collaboration with Biocartis, Philips will remain closely involved with technology innovation in this field, contributing to the development of optimized clinical informatics solutions that address the needs of both patients and care providers.
The Philips technology platform for DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing is the result of several years of development by the life science research and applied technology groups within Philips Corporate Technologies. It has been designed for fully integrated, random access, multiplexed DNA/RNA molecular diagnostic testing. The platform is characterized by ease-of-use, which is a prerequisite for making it suitable for all types of laboratory environments.
Biocartis is developing cost-effective solutions for the rapid & simultaneous detection and quantification of different biomarkers in a variety of laboratory & clinical settings, including the point-of-need. Biocartis has therefore developed and licensed a series of new technologies to build a broadly applicable diagnostics platform for low- to highly-multiplexed detection, quantification, and amplification of bio-analytes/biomarkers, including proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules. Biocartis was founded in 2007 by Dr. Rudi Pauwels ((co)founder of Tibotec, Virco and Galapagos Genomics), Prof. Philippe Renaud (EPFL) and Nader Donzel (co-founder of Scitec Laboratory Automation) and is backed by a syndicate of investors that contain some of Europe’s most successful biotech entrepreneurs. Biocartis is headquartered at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Science Park in Lausanne, a world-leading university in the field of Technology and Science.