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Aptamer Group Inks £465K Deal With Timser Group for Cervical Cancer Test Reagents

NEW YORK – Aptamer Group said Wednesday that it has signed a £465,000 ($592,360) agreement with pharma firm Timser Group for biomarker development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aptamer Group will develop a set of its aptamer-based Optimer binders for Timser's cervical cancer biomarker panel, a blood-based assay for early detection of the disease.

The Timser test measures the levels of three proteins to detect cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions. The company believes the assay could improve cervical cancer early detection by offering a less invasive alternative to the traditional Pap smear.

Aptamer Group will develop pairs of Optimer binders to each of the three proteins in the test. Timser will receive a license for the use of these reagents in its test, which is patented in 21 countries including the US.

The companies noted that Timser has had difficulty developing antibodies to the test proteins due to issues with batch variability and supply chains. It is hoping that the use of Optimers will prove a more successful approach due to the reagents' superior shelf life and temperature stability compared to antibodies.

"This deal demonstrates the increasing recognition of the Optimer platform to deliver high-quality affinity ligands," Arron Tolley, chief technical officer of Aptamer Group, said in a statement. "We believe that implementing Optimer technology will allow our partners to overcome previous issues experienced with antibody variability and supply chains, and we look forward to delivering much-needed improvements to cervical cancer tests."

"The potential of Optimer binders to enhance the accuracy and reliability of our cancer diagnostics tests is truly promising," Timser CEO Mercedes Gutierrez said in a statement. "By integrating this advanced technology, we are confident in our ability to overcome the limitations of traditional antibodies and improve the outcomes for patients undergoing cervical cancer screening."