EKF Diagnostics, worldwide manufacturer of point-of-care diagnostic tools, organ injury biomarkers and assays, has announced the launch of a new division to focus on molecular and companion diagnostics. EKF Molecular Diagnostics will develop technologies for cancer gene detection through its acquisition of UK based 360 Genomics.
EKF Molecular has been set up to offer innovative products with the potential to change current DNA extraction and detection practices, allowing EKF to address the fast growing companion diagnostics market. Companion diagnostics are used to distinguish between which patients are most likely to benefit from a particular therapy or those patients where the therapy will prove ineffective or even harmful.
EKF Molecular’s lead product, PointMan™, is a real-time PCR technology that provides highly sensitive detection for cancer mutations. PointMan is highly efficient in amplifying the target sequence of interest whilst suppressing amplification of the wild type. The resulting sample is effectively enriched for the mutation thereby having the potential to offer industry leading sensitivity in a wide variety of sample types. EKF Molecular expects to follow the spring launch of PointMan with several additional product launches during the second half of the year.
Xtract™ is the second product in EKF’s launch range. Xtract offers customers in the pharmaceutical, academic and diagnostic sectors a quicker, less expensive, cleaner and automatable platform for DNA extraction technology.
Julian Baines, Chief Executive Officer of EKF, said: “Companion diagnostics, is a situation where everyone wins: patients get better diagnosis which leads to better treatments and survival rates; doctors see increased patient safety and can make better informed decisions about treatments; healthcare providers and insurance companies will see better patient outcomes through reduced costs and pharmaceutical companies will be able to gain easier regulatory approval and a quicker time to market for their drugs.”
Andrew Webb has joined as Chief Executive Officer of EKF Molecular in a non-Board appointment. Andrew joins from QIAGEN where he established and led global market development for the high growth personalised healthcare business, launching industry leading products. Previously, Andrew was an executive director at DxS, the pioneering personalised healthcare company.