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CellMax, Medigen Biotech Partner in Colorectal Cancer Clinical Trials

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Sunnyvale, California-based CellMax Life said today that it has partnered with Taiwan-based Medigen Biotech as part of the firm's cell therapy clinical trials. Medigen will integrate CellMax's CMx circulating tumor cell (CTC) platform with its liquid biopsy panel to examine patient treatment selection and response.

As part of the open-label, multicenter, single arm clinical trial, the team plans to enroll patients with stage II and III colorectal cancer that has separately been surgically resected or in addition to being treated with chemotherapy.

The partners will start the Phase I trial later this year with patients who test positive on the CMx test to receive the natural killer cell therapy treatment. The firms have designed the trial to track patients' cancer status multiple times during treatment, using the CMx blood test to determine treatment response.

CellMax's blood test isolates and analyzes both CTCs and cell-free DNA from a sample of blood to detect six types of analytes, including four classes of genomic mutations, microsatellite instability, and CTCs.

"Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the US with 150,000 new cases and $14 billion spent on treatment annually," CellMax Cofounder and CEO Atul Sharan said in a statement. "Medigen's vision to develop innovative cancer therapies especially for the earlier stages of cancer when it is most treatable, is very much aligned to CellMax Life's mission not reduce mortality from colorectal cancer."

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Because we expect to recruit patients with early-stage cancer, test sensitivity was the key criteria for platform selection," Medigen Chairman and CEO Stanley Chang said in a statement. "By combining the CMx assay with the CellMax ct-DNA liquid biopsy … we hope to have the most sensitive test for treatment selection and monitoring response."