Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

OncoSec and Serametrix collaborate to identify skin cancer-related biomarkers

OncoSec Medical (OTCBB:ONCS) said Wednesday it has entered into a collaboration with Serametrix Corp to identify potential biomarkers that will help refine and enhance patient selection in its skin cancer treatment trials.

Under the terms of the agreement, not all of which were released, Serametrix will analyze subjects in three of OncoSec's phase two clinical trials treating melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

Biomarkers can help researchers to identify the presence of or change in a biological response, and have been invaluable in improving patient outcomes in protein-related diseases.

However, biomarker discovery in cancer immunotherapies has not been as successful.

Serametrix's proprietary Seromic Profiling Assay will analyze blood samples taken from patients in OncoSec's three clinical trials, in an effort to detect potential predictive biomarkers. Specifically, these biomarkers will provide OncoSec researchers with a better understanding of the antibody anti-tumour response that results from its DNA IL-12 treatment.

OncoSec's ElectroOncology enhanced delivery system uses a form of cell membrane stimulation known as electroporation to deliver a proven chemotherapy or an immunotherapy.

These therapies can effectively treat cancerous tumors and cancerous cells in the predominantly healthy tissue around the tumor while reducing or eliminating detrimental treatment outcomes associated with other "standard of care" therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

The biomarkers will also better identify patients that are most likely to respond to treatment.

Principal investigator of OncoSec's upcoming melanoma trial, Dr. Adil Daud said: "A critical issue in cancer immunotherapy trials is patient selection.

"Given the complexity of the immune response in cancer, it has been difficult to pinpoint the most appropriate biomarker.

"This partnership offers an opportunity to develop a biomarker complementary to the clinical activity for DNA IL-12."

OncoSec president and CEO, Punit Dhillon added: "By combining OncoSec's OMS ElectroImmunotherapy with Serametrix's best-in-class immunoassays, this collaboration places OncoSec at the forefront of immunologic assessment supporting the application of immunotherapies.

"We aim to define parameters that may ultimately facilitate improved disease outcomes after OMS ElectroImmunotherapy treatment. This accomplishment may also help us accelerate product development."

Investors responded well to the news, sending OncoSec shares on the OTC Bulletin Board up 17.74 percent, to $0.365 as of 2:21 pm EDT.