Yourgene Health plc
(“Yourgene” or the “Group” or the “Company”)
Partnership with Take2 Health Limited
Yourgene to run genomic test for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) Screening in Taiwan
Manchester, UK – 3 November 2020: Yourgene (AIM: YGEN), the international molecular diagnostics group, announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Yourgene Health Taipei, has signed a regional marketing and services agreement (the “Agreement”) with Hong Kong based Take2 Health Limited (“Take2”), to promote Take2’s clinically-validated genomic test for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (“NPC”), the Take2 Prophecy Test for NPC (“Take2 Prophecy”), in Taiwan and to establish a clinical network for the collection of patient blood samples. Take2 Prophecy is a liquid biopsy test using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies to screen patients, aiming for early detection of NPC (a major type of head and neck cancer) even before a patient is symptomatic, enabling more timely diagnosis and treatment.
In addition, Yourgene and Take2 have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (the “MoU”) to consider granting Yourgene sole rights to deliver Take2 Prophecy testing services in Taiwan from the Group’s Taipei laboratory.
Under the Agreement, Yourgene will be responsible for driving the clinical demand of the test in the region, working with clinicians and healthcare professionals on the benefits of using Take2 Prophecy, and widely distributing the test to facilitate early cancer screening in Taiwan.
NPC is prevalent in South East Asia and Southern China than other parts of the world, with 35,000 to 40,000 deaths per annum1 and is sometimes referred to as the “Cantonese Cancer”. Although rarer than some other cancers, in Taiwan alone there are approximately 1,500 cases per annum, with a roughly 50% mortality rate. In 2017-2018, data of large-scale clinical trials were published by Professor Dennis Lo and his team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, proving that the survival rate was significantly improved in patients that were screened, with a 3-year progression-free survival rate at around 97% among cancer patients (vs <70% in historical cohorts) 2,3. The data also demonstrated that a combination of both qPCR (quantitative polymerase chain reaction) and NGS technologies has effectively improved the performance of the Take2 Prophecy screening test.
With the exclusive licence to the methods and technologies, Take2 has made the test commercially available under the brand name “Take2 Prophecy”. Primary care clinicians will be able to make use of the test in routine screening for general consumers, while specialists will use it for more specific medical purposes tailored to each patient’s needs. Take2 aims to facilitate early diagnosis and timely treatments of NPC through the distribution of Take2 Prophecy through Yourgene’s region-wide medical service networks.
Under the MoU, the two companies will seek to establish an extended formal collaboration by which Yourgene will deliver the Take2 Prophecy test as a service from its Taipei facility, and gain exclusive clinical coverage in Taiwan.
Tony Yung, CEO of Take2, commented positively on the partnership: “The Taiwan health-tech sector has been striving to establish itself as a front-runner in the genomics field. It also has a mature health service industry. A high percentage of the local population is covered by health insurance, and its health awareness and quality of care are remarkable. We are eager to add value to its healthcare sector, by providing the finest services that suit the population’s needs. Our partners place much importance on clinical evidence and adopt only the best technologies which have undergone carefully designed clinical trials with good results. This partnership with Yourgene is a major step in the field of cancer screening and precision medicine in Taiwan and lays the foundation stone for commercialising more exciting technologies in the future.”
Lyn Rees, CEO of Yourgene, commented: “We are extremely proud to collaborate with Take2 to help commercialise Take2 Prophecy, a test which will help enable better clinical outcomes and patient experiences in the fight against cancer. This partnership is part of our expansion into the oncology market and precision medicine, and we look forward to working with Take2 on promoting the test and developing the service offering.”
1 Mahdavifar, Neda, et al. “Epidemiology and inequality in the incidence and mortality of nasopharynx cancer in Asia.” Osong public health and research perspectives 7.6 (2016): 360 372.
2 Chan, KC Allen, et al. “Analysis of plasma Epstein Barr virus DNA to screen for nasopharyngeal cancer.” New England Journal of Medicine 377.6 (2017): 513 522.
3 Lam, WK Jacky, et al. “Sequencing based counting and size profiling of plasma Epstein Barr virus DNA enhance population screening of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115.22 (2018): E5115 E5124.
Yourgene Health plc
Lyn Rees, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0)161 669 8122
N+1 Singer (Joint Corporate Broker)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 3000
Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited (Joint Corporate Broker)
Nicholas Moore / Matthew Blawat / Ben Maddison
Tel: +44 (0)20 7710 7600
Walbrook PR Ltd (Media and Investor Relations)
Paul McManus / Lianne Cawthorne
Tel: +44 (0)20 7933 8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mob: 07980 541 893 Mob: 07584 391 303
About Take2 – https://www.take2.health/
Take2 is a healthcare start-up headquartered in Hong Kong SAR, China, which explores, invents, and builds empowering platforms to harness the power of biomedical sciences and informatics to deliver better healthcare solutions to communities. Take2 aims to be a key driver that makes the innovative healthcare inventions widely accessible to the public in China and across Asia.
About Yourgene Health plc
Yourgene is an international molecular diagnostics group which develops and commercialises genetic products and services. The group works in partnership with global leaders in DNA technology to advance diagnostic science.
Yourgene develops and commercialises simple and accurate molecular diagnostic solutions, for reproductive health and molecular genetics. The Group’s products include non-invasive prenatal tests (NIPT) for Down’s Syndrome and other genetic disorders, Cystic Fibrosis screening tests, invasive rapid aneuploidy tests, male infertility tests and genetic disease tests. Yourgene’s commercial footprint is already established in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Our product development, research service and commercial capabilities extend across the lifecycle of genetic test development including regulatory submissions. Through our technical expertise and partnerships, Yourgene is also extending its genetic testing offering into oncology.
Yourgene is headquartered in Manchester, UK with offices in Taipei and Singapore, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under the ticker “YGEN”. For more information, visit www.yourgene-health.com and follow us on twitter @Yourgene_Health.
Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but rather are based on the Company’s current expectations, estimates, and projections about its industry; its beliefs; and assumptions. Words such as ‘anticipates,’ ‘expects,’ ‘intends,’ ‘plans,’ ‘believes,’ ‘seeks,’ ‘estimates,’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s control, are difficult to predict, and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements. The Company cautions security holders and prospective security holders not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect the view of the Company only as of the date of this announcement. The forward-looking statements made in this announcement relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. The Company will not undertake any obligation to release publicly any revisions or updates to these forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances, or unanticipated events occurring after the date of this announcement except as required by law or by any appropriate regulatory authority.