10 March 2011

Abcodia, an innovative company engaged in the validation and discovery of molecular biomarkers for disease diagnosis and screening, was formally launched today. At the helm of the company is a team of Cambridge biotech entrepreneurs who are now seeking new collaborative partners.

Abcodia has been granted rights to commercialise IP from one of the largest biobanks in the UK. The biobank has been created by lead clinical scientists at UCL (University College London), one of the world’s leading research-led universities.  The company aims to make groundbreaking discoveries and improve the diagnosis of many common life-threatening and debilitating diseases, including the major cancers – colon, lung, pancreatic – as well as other conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The biobank comprises serum derived from over 200,000, initially healthy volunteers. The biobank now comprises 500,000 samples, many from volunteers who have provided samples annually. The availability of such large numbers of longitudinal prospective samples, together with data that allows the identification of all major age-related diseases in this cohort, makes this an ideal resource for investigations relating to screening diagnostics.

Abcodia is seeking collaborative partners to achieve the best outcomes and is keen to harness a network of molecular technology collaborators and commercial diagnostic partners, as well as collaborations with academia and not-for-profit organisations.

Julie Barnes, the Chief Executive Officer said: “With the rapid advances in molecular technologies, this is a very exciting area to be working in right now. I am delighted to be able to lead the company through the early stages of its formation and look forward to working collaboratively with others who share our passion in discovering new molecular biomarkers for many of our common diseases”.

Professor Ian Jacobs, Dean of Biomedical Sciences at UCL and Principle Investigator of the UKCTOCS trial from where the serum biobank is derived, said: “The establishment of Abcodia provides exciting opportunities to derive health benefit for large numbers of people at risk from the many potentially life threatening conditions that affect us with increasing age. The established serum biobank is uniquely placed for screening diagnostics and I look forward to working with Abcodia.”

Cengiz Tarhan, UCLB’s Managing Director, said “We are delighted to have formed Abcodia which follows our recent license to Becton Dickinson, a medical technology company, to have access to the biobank for ovarian and breast cancer indications. Abcodia will now extend on that relationship and seek new partners for other indications. This is a great example of how high quality research at UCL can ultimately lead to commercial endeavours, delivering patient benefits.”

Abcodia
Abcodia is an innovative company engaged in the validation and discovery of molecular biomarkers. With its unique longitudinal serum biobank and partnerships with UCL, technology platform providers and leading commercial diagnostic companies, Abcodia is able to support the whole diagnostic discovery process.

Its Chief Executive, Julie Barnes and Operations Officer, Chris Hodkinson have over 45 years experience within the Life Science R&D and Biotechnology industry. Their mix of scientific, commercial and operational experience in industry together with strong academic links with UCL and other major universities brings a strong understanding of what is required to successfully lead Abcodia as an ethical and collaborative organisation.

www.abcodia.com

UCL Business
UCL Business plc is responsible for commercialising innovations arising from the research base at University College London, one of the UK’s leading research-led universities. UCL Business undertakes a broad range of knowledge transfer activities, covering the facilitation of consultancy and collaborative research engagements through to technology transfer, company incubation and investment.

More information on UCL Business can be found at: www.uclb.com

UKCTOCS
The United Kingdom Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) is the world’s largest trial for the screening of ovarian cancer. Started in 2001, it recruited over 200,000 post menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 74. It aims to establish the impact of ovarian cancer screening on ovarian cancer mortality, assessing the feasibility of population screening and to establish a serum bank for future assessment of novel tumour markers.

Please contact Press Officer, Ellee Seymour on 07939 811961 or by email info@abcodia.com