Axial Biotech Partners With U of U

Salt Lake City-based Axial Biotech, which is developing DNA-based diagnostic tests for spinal diseases, said Wednesday that it has entered into a collaboration with the University of Utah. According to the firm, the deal will give it access to the University's Utah Population Database (UPDB), the school's family history and genealogical database and collection of genetic, epidemiological, demographic, and public health studies. Axial said the access to the data will help it expand the patient population for its test for progressive scoliosis. Axial also said it would expand development of additional personalized tests for scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and other spine disorders. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed. The University's UPDB mines the extensive family histories and extended families of Utah residents to help find patterns and genetic linkages in different diseases and conditions. Axial is backed by Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., vSpring Capital and the Ohio Biotech Group.