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CareDx, Weill Cornell Codeveloping Kidney Transplant Rejection Test

NEW YORK – CareDx said on Tuesday that it has formed an exclusive partnership with Weill Cornell Medicine to develop and commercialize UroMap, a urine-based gene expression test for acute cellular rejection in kidney transplant recipients.

The company said it is collaborating with Weill Cornell on a multiyear research collaboration with exclusive rights to bring UroMap to patients. CareDx obtained the exclusive rights to the UroMap technology through a license agreement with Cornell University. Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

UroMap was developed by Manikkam Suthanthiran, Weill Cornell's chief of nephrology, hypertension, and transplantation medicine, and his collaborators. In a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers found that UroMap was able to distinguish acute rejection episodes with high accuracy, and may predict future development of an acute rejection episode, CareDx said.

"UroMap provides early detection and quantification of clinically relevant cellular rejection," Suthanthiran, who is also the named inventor on the patent for the urine gene expression technology, said in a statement. "We are hopeful that this test will benefit kidney transplant patients."

CareDx already sells its own kidney transplant rejection test called AlloSure, a noninvasive blood test that measures transplant injury via donor-derived cell-free DNA. The firm upgraded AlloSure last November in order to detect signs of borderline, subclinical T-cell mediated rejection.

"We are delighted to announce this collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine to help bring UroMap's rapid allograft rejection detection capabilities to our industry-leading suite of transplant care solutions," added CareDx CEO Peter Maag. "We continue our commitment to fund research and drive innovation for transplant patient care."