TcLand Expression, a biotech specialising in gene expression biomarkers for auto-immune disorders and transplantation, agreed a worldwide, exclusive licence and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialisation of a gene expression biomarker in liver transplantation with IDIBAPS, the Institut D’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi I Sunyer, a research consortium based in Barcelona.
Under the terms of the agreement, TcLand will fund the clinical validation of the gene expression biomarker up to regulatory approval, and will be responsible for worldwide commercialisation.
IDIPABS will receive milestone payments from TcLand, together with royalties on worldwide sales of products or services involving the biomarker.
The aim is to use the gene expression signature developed by Dr Alberto Sanchez Fueyo at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, which is affiliated to IDIBAPS to diagnose low-risk status in liver transplant recipients and thereby identifying candidates who may be eligible for the safe minimisation of immunosuppression drugs.
Liver transplantation is currently the second largest field of solid organ transplantation, accounting for over 20 percent of all transplants behind kidney transplants, which account for more than 60 percent. The rate of liver transplantation is expected to triple within the next 10 years, as a consequence of HCV infections contracted during the 1980s.
“Hospital Clínic Barcelona is one of Europe’s foremost centres of excellence in hepatology. This agreement is a key milestone in TcLand’s corporate development and one which strengthens its leading position in the field of gene expression biomarkers in transplantation,” said Alain Huriez, President and CEO of TcLand.
“We were very impressed by the quality of the research and clinical data that Dr Alberto Sanchez Fueyo has obtained and the excellent collaboration between the scientific teams at TcLand with Hospital Clínic and IDIBAPS gives us great confidence in this project”.
Dr Joan Bigorra, Managing Director of the Clinic Foundation for Biomedical Research, said, “We are delighted to enter into this agreement with TcLand Expression. The strong biomarker development expertise of TcLand Expression is a major step towards making our gene expression signature available to health care professionals and patients globally.”
TcLand Expression SA was spun off from INSERM/ITERT, a clinical centre of excellence in transplantation and immunology based in Nantes, France in 2002. The company specialises in the development of gene expression biomarkers in transplantation and auto-immune disorders, and also provides immune system monitoring services.
IDIBAPS, founded in 1996, is a research consortium brought together by the Government of Catalunya, and includes the University of Barcelona, the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona and the Spanish Council for Scientific Research.