Aptamer Group signs agreement with Timser Group for cervical cancer diagnostic

LONDON: Aptamer Group plc (AIM: APTA), a developer of novel Optimer® binders for the life sciences industry, has entered into an agreement with Timser Group, a pharmaceutical company specializing in women’s health. The deal, valued at up to £465,000, aims to revolutionize cervical cancer diagnostics.

Under the terms of the agreement:

  • Aptamer Group will develop Optimer binders targeting Timser’s patented cervical cancer biomarker panel—a three-protein signature for detecting cervical cancer and precancerous lesions.
  • These Optimers will power the world’s first blood test for cervical cancer, replacing invasive smear tests and enabling earlier, more sensitive detection.
  • Timser will receive a license for using the Optimers in its patented test combination across 21 countries, including the USA.

Cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women globally, currently relies on low-sensitivity Papanicolaou (PAP) smear tests. Timser’s Optimer-enabled diagnostic promises earlier detection at the precancerous lesion stage, potentially improving survival rates. The blood-based test offers a less invasive alternative to traditional PAP smears.

As Timser expands its diagnostic reach, Optimer binders provide advantages such as superior shelf-life and temperature stability compared to antibodies. Unlike antibodies, Optimer binders are chemically manufactured, ensuring consistent quality. This innovation could enhance global test distribution while avoiding supply chain issues faced by antibody-based approaches.

Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Technical Officer of Aptamer Group, said: “We are delighted to partner with Timser Group to facilitate their ground-breaking cancer diagnostic with Optimer binders. This deal demonstrates the increasing recognition of the Optimer platform to deliver high quality affinity ligands. We believe that implementing Optimer technology will allow our partners to overcome previous issues experienced with antibody variability and supply chains, and we look forward to delivering much-needed improvements to cervical cancer tests.”

Mercedes Gutierrez, Chief Executive Officer of TIMSER Group: “We are equally excited about this collaboration with Aptamer Group. The potential of Optimer binders to enhance the accuracy and reliability of our cancer diagnostics tests is truly promising. By integrating this advanced technology, we are confident in our ability to overcome the limitations of traditional antibodies and improve the outcomes for patients undergoing cervical cancer screening. We look forward to a successful partnership and to witnessing the impact that this new technology will have for women across the globe.”

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