University of Alberta metabolomics research team collaborates with prestigious BGI Shenzhen on new cancer screening technology

EDMONTON, Aug. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - A new diagnostic test for pre-cancerous polyps, PolypDx™, from Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI), is moving towards commercialization thanks to collaboration between the Alberta government, the University of Alberta (U of A), the renowned BGI Shenzhen (formerly Beijing Genomic Institute) and U of A spin-off company, MTI.

The University of Alberta research team, led by Dr. Richard Fedorak and Dr. Haili Wang, have developed a non-invasive early diagnostic test "PolypDx™" to detect evidence of colonic polyps, the precursor to colorectal cancers. They have formed MTI with the assistance of business incubator TEC Edmonton, to further develop, commercialize, validate and market this innovative diagnostic in Alberta and global markets.

The novelty of MTI's PolypDx™ resides with its significantly higher detection accuracy than current fecal based tests, easier administration, faster results and lower cost. The superior accuracy of MTI's diagnostic test will be a game-changer in the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancers.

With over a million dollars in total project support, PolypDx™ is undergoing validation and clinical trials in Alberta and in China using the large-scale population screening resources of the BGI.

"As one of the leading research universities in the country, the University of Alberta is proud to deliver the kind of cutting-edge research and innovation that leads to great discoveries like those of MTI's," states Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President of Research, University of Alberta. "We are thrilled to see the provincial government recognize the value of this research on cancer detection at a global scale, which is also a testament to the strength of innovation and technology found right here in Alberta."

"This is an Alberta-developed technology that can save lives and it's the result of the leading talent we have in our Campus Alberta and Alberta Innovates systems," said the Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, Deputy Premier and Minister of Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education.

"And, through our collaborative approach, we are bringing together the right partners to move this knowledge from basic research into a commercial application that will make a significant impact in health outcomes."

The U of A's capabilities in metabolomics and clinical biomarkers were a natural fit with BGI's strength in detection capabilities to co-develop diagnostic tests for the global market.

"China is focusing on preventative medicine to avoid the burden of managing long term chronic treatment costs, and MTI's pre-colon cancer test aligns perfectly with our healthcare goals," says Yong Zhang, Head of Proteomic Division, BGI. "BGI is the best positioned to co-develop MTI's diagnostic tests for the Chinese market, assist with the regulatory process and market the technology. We're excited to be collaborating with the University of Alberta and MTI on technology that will save thousands of lives."

BACKGROUNDER

About BGI
BGI was founded in Beijing on Sept 9th, 1999 with the mission of supporting the development of science and technology, building strong research teams, and promoting the development of scientific partnership in genomics and biomarker research. In 2007, BGI's headquarters was relocated to Shenzhen as the first citizen-managed, non-profit research institution in China. For more information, visit www.genomics.cn.

About the University of Alberta
Opened in 1908, the University of Alberta is one of Canada's largest research-intensive universities. The University of Alberta is a Top 5 Canadian university and one of the Top 100 in the world, home to more than 170 graduate programs, 200 undergraduate programs and 400 active student groups.

About Enterprise and Advanced Education, Government of Alberta.
Enterprise and Advanced Education provides strategic leadership in advanced learning, workforce development, research, innovation, commercialization, and economic development. The ministry is cultivating the knowledge-inspired economy in Alberta by aligning initiatives that strengthen the province's skilled workforce, increase business start-ups, support the commercialization of technology, and focus on solving challenges through a world-class research and innovation system. For more information, visit www.eae.alberta.ca

About Metabolomic Technologies Inc.
Metabolomic Technologies Inc. (MTI) is a spin-off company from the University of Alberta. The company was formed by Drs. Haili Wang and Richard Fedorak to develop advanced metabolomic-based diagnostic tests for the management of chronic diseases or 'high value' diagnostics. MTI's initial focus is on developing highly novel, patented, metabolomic-based diagnostic tests to detect adenomatous polyps and colorectal cancer (CRC). Their flagship product, PolypDx™, a spot urine diagnostic test, innovatively offers significantly higher sensitivity in detecting adenomatous polyps than existing commercial tests, and thus significantly advances the prevention of CRC. For more information, visit www.metabolomictechnologies.ca.

Image with caption: "MTI management with BGI Shenzhen Director in Hangzhou (CNW Group/Metabolomic Technologies Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130812_C5226_PHOTO_EN_29768.jpg

SOURCE: Metabolomic Technologies Inc.

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACT:
Reg Joseph
Chief Executive Officer, MTI
Email:  reg.joseph@metabolomictechnologies.ca
Phone: +1.780.248.1061

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Metabolomic Technologies Inc.

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