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Sienna Cancer Diagnostics Acquires Sevident to Develop Exosome-Based Cancer Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Melbourne, Australia-based Sienna Cancer Diagnostics announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire US-based Sevident's NET molecular capture platform.

As part of the agreement, Sienna will acquire the intellectual property assets — including granted patents — and certain laboratory equipment assets of Sevident for cash and company scrip. Sevident will receive a cash payment of $300,000 and new ordinary shares in Sienna representing $1 million. Sevident will also be eligible to receive further payments in scrip or cash of up to $1.5 million after achieving future revenue milestones.

Sevident's NET technology isolates and captures molecular and cellular biomarkers from small clinical blood samples. The technology contains a flexible molecular matrix — designed to capture targeted biomarkers — applied to magnetic beads.

According to Sevident, the researchers can use the technology to enhance and streamline sample preparation for liquid biopsies for both screening and diagnostic purposes.

Sienna also believes the technology will help it develop exosome-based cancer tests that work with current pathology lab sample preparation timeframes and resources. The firm aims to use NET to expand its product offering in the cancer diagnostic space. Sienna's antibody-based in vitro diagnostic detects the presence of telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), a biomarker that helps diagnose bladder cancer alongside standard urine cytology testing.

"Our aim is to leverage the capability, knowledge, infrastructure, and channels to market that Sienna has built in developing and commercializing our hTERT product, and build a portfolio of products," Sienna CEO Matthew Hoskin said in a statement. "This will create further economies of scale, expanded market opportunity, and a platform for long-term sustainable growth and value generation."

"I am pleased that this unique and ground-breaking technology will now have the very best chance of getting to market, making a positive impact on patient diagnosis and creating shareholder value," Sevident chief scientist and NET inventor Emily Stein said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, Stein will join Sienna to lead further development and commercialization of the NET technology. In addition, Sevident CEO Peter French will also join Sienna in an advisory capability to support the company's technology expansion program.  

Sienna previously inked an exclusive distribution agreement with Inside Diagnósticos in March to market its hTERT assay to pathology labs in Brazil.