University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

UND signs license to develop breakthrough breast cancer detection technology

Edward Sauter

Edward Sauter

UND and Neomatrix, LLC, announced today that they have signed an exclusive agreement to develop technology for the early detection of breast cancer using the company’s HALO Breast Pap Test device.

The HALO breast test is for physicians and is designed to help screen and assess breast cancer risk in women using techniques from cell biology. The UND technology, used with the HALO device, is based on the detection of cancer indicators in breast nipple aspirate fluid (NAF).

Early detection of breast cancer is widely recognized as the most effective strategy for successfully treating the disease. Health outcomes are greatly improved when breast cancer is discovered in the early stages of development.

“Dr. Edward Sauter, professor in the department of surgery at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, renowned for his research on NAF constituents and their role in breast cancer prediction, and his team, find it rewarding to begin collaborations with our partner Neomatrix and its scientists to help develop our technology,” said Michael Moore, UND associate vice president for Intellectual Property Commercialization and Economic Development. “I want to recognize Dr. Kumi Combs in my group for her work in putting this agreement and relationship together. This option agreement sets the stage for further development of the technology. We look forward to working with Neomatrix and sincerely hope we can be part of an important diagnostic technology and assay for the early detection of breast cancer.”

“We identified a promising breast cancer predictive marker panel through funding from the National Institutes of Health,” Sauter said. “We needed a partner to take the next step toward practical application in development of an assay. It is exciting to partner with Neomatrix to validate our panel, in the hopes of gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and bringing it to clinical use.”

“We are thrilled to be participating in this important collaborative program with the world-class personnel and facilities at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences,” said France Dixon Helfer, president and CEO of Neomatrix, LLC. “We concur with the University that this biomarker research will open new doors in the early detection of breast cancer in women.”

About Neomatrix, LLC:

Neomatrix develops solutions to promote optimal women’s health, including the HALO Breast Pap Test and detection assays for breast cancer.

The FDA-approved HALO Breast Pap Test is the first fully automated noninvasive breast disease-screening device for use in physician offices for the collection of NAF for cytological evaluation. Like the Pap test for cervical cancer, HALO looks for cellular changes years before breast cancer is detectable by mammographic imaging. To learn more about the test and locate a physician who offers it, visit or call (877) HALOPAP.

-- David Dodds, writer/editor, University Relations, 777-5529,

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