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Catalan biotechnology company Oryzon has just received authorization from the Government of Catalonia to carry out clinical diagnostics in humans. This certification will allow the company to commercialize products they are developing in oncology and neurodegenerative diseases, two key areas of the company’s activity.

"It is not uncommon for a laboratory to carry out clinical diagnostics in humans. However, it is less common for a company from the biotech sector to receive this type of accreditation, allowing them to market products they have created,” explained Carlos Buesa, CEO of Oryzon.

This step will allow for a vertical integration of the company’s projects, bringing together R&D, product development and commercialization. “The aim of this new business area is to carry out genomic diagnostics protected by our patents, which will provide value added to clinical disease management.” Specializing in the discovery of biomarkers –anything that can be measured and correlated with a disease- for therapeutic and diagnostic applications, Oryzon has discovered biomarkers that are potential therapeutic targets. These targets have new action mechanisms that allow for improved management of neurodegenerative and oncological diseases.

Biomarkers for uterine cancer and Huntington’s disease

Two of their most advanced products, which are currently in the development stage, are a biomarker to diagnose uterine cancer and a treatment for Huntington’s neurological disease. The first focuses mainly on creating non-invasive early-diagnosis products for endometrial cancer, the second most common form of this disease in women after breast cancer. This is a three-year project that is being carried out through GEADIC Biotec AIE, a company created by Oryzon and Reig Jofré Laboratoris in 2007, in collaboration with the Biomedical Research Unit of Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron University Hospital Research Institute.

They are also participating in the CENIT ONCNOSIS project, together with Siemens Medical, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, and twenty universities, to identify lung, ovarian, skin and colon cancer. The company’s own oncology projects are expected to have a number of totally new molecules with high therapeutic value, meaning they shut down key genes in the cancer process, in the clinical phases by 2012, which will allow them to develop a new generation of drugs against this disease.

Created in 2000, Oryzon has become one of the fastest growing companies in the national biotech sector in less than 10 years.


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