In May 2014, BCM executed an exclusive license agreement with Shenzhen TianDe Medical Investment Co., LTD, which will enable the commercial development of a novel diagnostic for esophageal cancer in China. Esophageal cancer is reported to be the fourth most common type of cancer and the fourth leading cause of death due to cancer in the Chinese population. This technology initially was discovered in the lab of Dr. Laising Yen in the Department of Pathology at BCM, where successful identification of the chimeric RNA GOLM1-MAK10 and its secreted fusion protein was highly correlated with development of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Identification of this molecular signature was key to the development of an invention for a non-invasive assay that aims to detect and diagnose esophageal cancer. The need for this diagnostic is acute, as there is no clinically useful biomarker currently available for screening esophageal cancer or monitoring a patient’s response to treatment.
Shenzhen TianDe Medical Investment Co., LTD, headquartered in Shenzhen, China, was established in April 2009 and is listed among the companies of the Shenzhen Qianhai Equity Exchange (code 661589). Shenzhen TianDe Medical Investment Co. is committed to investing and operating in the high-tech medical products and high growth medical services market sectors. With many years of experience in medical equipment investment and medical service management, Shenzhen TianDe Medical Investment Co. is the leading investor and operator of the Blood Purification Center Chain in China and plans to expand its services to include unique diagnostic capabilities.