Curetis N.V. (the “Company” and, together with its subsidiaries, “Curetis”), a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Ares Genetics GmbH (“Ares Genetics”), Vienna, Austria, has entered into a multi-phase partnership with an undisclosed leading global in vitro diagnostics corporation (the “Partner”) to jointly develop diagnostic solutions for infectious disease testing based on next-generation sequencing (“NGS”) technology. The companies signed an R&D and option agreement for the first phase of the partnership.
The partnership follows the successful completion of a feasibility study in which Ares Genetics correctly identified 100% of the pathogen species and successfully predicted antibiotic resistance for over 50 drug/pathogen combinations in line with FDA requirements (<1.5% very major error, i.e. misclassification of resistant isolates as susceptible and <3 % major error, i.e. misclassification of susceptible isolates as resistant).
In a first phase of the collaboration expected to take about 12 months, the parties will further enrich ARESdb with a focus on certain pathogens relevant in a first, undisclosed infectious disease indication. Additional clinical isolates of such pathogens will be sequenced by Ares Genetics at its recently established NGS laboratory in Vienna, Austria. Based on this enlarged and enriched dataset, Ares Genetics will further optimize the algorithms for predictive antibiotic resistance testing for drug/pathogen combinations particularly relevant in the targeted indication to enable NGS-based infectious disease diagnostics.
Under the initial agreement signed, the Partner will fully fund Ares Genetics’ research and development activities for the genotypic and phenotypic characterization of additional bacterial strains to augment ARESdb and the development of optimized algorithms for predicting antibiotic resistance. Furthermore, in return for an undisclosed up-front option fee, the Partner obtains a right of first negotiation for an exclusive human clinical diagnostic use license to ARESdb and the ARES Technology Platform for the term of the agreement plus three months.
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