Lab Canada

Collaboration to commercialize cancer screening tool

Edmonton, AB – A new diagnostic test for pre-cancerous polyps, PolypDx™, from Metabolomic Technologies (MTI), is moving towards commercialization as a result of a collaboration between the company, Alberta’s provincial government, the University of Alberta, and BGI Shenzhen (formerly Beijing Genomic Institute).

The University of Alberta research team, led by Dr. Richard Fedorak and Dr. Haili Wang, have developed the diagnostic test to detect evidence of colonic polyps, the precursor to colorectal cancers. They formed MTI with the assistance of business incubator TEC Edmonton, to further develop, commercialize, validate and market this innovative diagnostic in Alberta and global markets.

The novelty of the diagnostic test resides with its significantly higher detection accuracy than current fecal-based tests, easier administration, faster results and lower cost. With over a million dollars in total project support, the test is undergoing validation and clinical trials in Alberta and in China using BGI’s large-scale population screening resources.

“As one of the leading research universities in the country, the University of Alberta is proud to deliver the kind of cutting-edge research and innovation that leads to great discoveries like those of MTI’s,” says Dr. Lorne Babiuk, vice-president of research, University of Alberta.

“China is focusing on preventative medicine to avoid the burden of managing long-term chronic treatment costs, and MTI’s pre-colon cancer test aligns perfectly with our healthcare goals,” says Yong Zhang, head of proteomic division, BGI. “BGI is the best positioned to co-develop MTI’s diagnostic tests for the Chinese market, assist with the regulatory process and market the technology. We’re excited to be collaborating with the University of Alberta and MTI on technology that will save thousands of lives.”