Shares of Genetic Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: GENE) practically doubled in Tuesday’s session following a key licensing agreement. The company announced the signing of an exclusive worldwide license agreement with the University of Melbourne for the development and commercialisation of a novel colorectal cancer (CRC) risk assessment test.
Note that the terms and conditions of the agreement are confidential, but Genetic will be responsible for the commercial development of the test. Additionally, the University of Melbourne and Genetic will begin an ongoing research collaboration enabling the company to leverage the university’s expertise in SNP-based risk assessment and risk model development.
The fundamental technology is similar to the BREVAGenplus test and should fit into the company’s existing infrastructure and processes.
The CRC test represents a significant milestone for the company as it seeks to diversify its product pipeline and become a key player in the SNP-based cancer risk assessment landscape.
For some brief background: Excluding skin cancers, CRC is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. Overall, the lifetime risk for developing CRC is about one in 20. As with breast cancer, early diagnosis is key. When diagnosed at an early stage (before the disease has spread outside the colon), the relative five-year survival rate for CRC is 92% and 87% for rectal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Eutillio Buccilli, executive director and CEO of Genetic Technologies, commented:
This is an exciting time for the Company as we commence this strategic alliance with The University of Melbourne. The relationship with the University is comprehensive and highlights our overall corporate mission to become a leader in the genomics focused oncology diagnostics’ industry while enhancing our pipeline of risk assessment products.
Mark Jenkins, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Melbourne, added:
The licensing Agreement with Genetic Technologies provides us with a wonderful opportunity to work with an organisation that is a leader in the field of genomics for precision public health. Furthermore, Genetic Technologies provides the University with an established platform that will facilitate the transition of our scientific work into the clinical arena.
Shares of Genetic were trading up over 87% at $2.45 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $12.50 and a 52-week trading range of $1.20 to $3.87.