JW Holdings said Monday that it has obtained a patent in the United States for the world’s first source technology for "multi-biomarker diagnostic kit," which makes the early detection of pancreatic cancer possible.
The source technology of JW Holdings is an innovative diagnostic platform, which it took over from a team led by Professor Baek Young-ki of Yonsei University in 2017. The platform can examine cancer in stages by utilizing substances expressed in the early and late stages of pancreatic cancer.
So far, medical professionals have used a method to check for carbohydrate antigen (CA19-9), which is a cancer-specific antigen responding mainly to patients with late pancreatic cancer. However, only JW Holdings has the technology for diagnosing early pancreatic cancer with a complement factor that appears in the early stages of pancreatic cancer, the company said in news release.
JW Holdings acquired the patent in Korea in 2016, in Japan in 2018, and in China and Europe in 2019.
JW Holdings is developing a diagnostic algorithm, and a multi-biomarker diagnostic kit, composed of CFB and CA19-9, through JW Biosciences, one of its subsidiaries.
The company plans to conduct an exploratory clinical trial on 500 people, including those with pancreatic cancer, jointly with a research team led by Kang Chang-moo, a professor at Severance Hospital in Shinchon.
"We have won the recognition for the rights and technology of early pancreatic cancer detection kit using the complement factor B by completing patent registration in the U.S., following Japan and Europe, which has strict patent screening standards," JW Holdings said.
Pancreatic cancer causes approximately an average of a thousand deaths daily, and 6,600 Koreans develop pancreatic cancer every year. Also, early detection of pancreatic cancer is crucial because it has the lowest five-year relative survival rate, 11 percent, among all cancers.
However, early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is challenging because other organs are surrounding the pancreas, and it rarely shows symptoms in its early stage.
American Association of Cancer Research and other academic circles believe that pancreatic cancer will rise to the No. 2 cause of death for cancer patients in 2020 due to the lack of early diagnostic markers for pancreatic cancer.
Mordor Intelligence, a market research firm, expects the global market related to treatment and diagnosis of pancreatic cancer will expand from about $1730 million in 2015 to $3187 million in 2020 with an average of 13 percent annual growth.
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