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Stella Dx, University of Kansas Medical Center Collaborate on Barrett's Esophagus Panel

NEW YORK – Stella Diagnostics on Tuesday announced a collaborative research agreement with the University of Kansas Medical Center to evaluate the clinical use of the company's proteomics panel for patients with Barrett's esophagus.

The partners will assess Stella's mass spectrometry-based STLA101 assay by quantifying novel proto-oncogenes in Barrett's esophagus tissue that have progressed to cancer, and those that have not. Stella said the collaboration could help clinicians better understand the biochemical mechanisms that contribute to Barrett's esophagus progression to esophageal adenocarcinoma, which it said has the fastest rising incidence rate of cancer in the US. About 6 million Americans have Barrett's esophagus, the firm said.

Ajay Bansal, an associate professor at the UK Medical Center will be the principal investigator on the study.

"Our partnership with KU Medical Center will help continue to establish our novel diagnostic panel for risk stratification of disease progression in Barrett's esophagus tissue, which will have a significant impact on the surveillance and treatment of these patients," Stella CEO Joe Abdo said in a statement.

Based in Salt Lake City, Stella leverages mass spectrometry to develop diagnostic tests with a focus on severe esophageal disease, according to its website.