Quantcast

Industry news that matters to you.  Learn more

New Workflow to Provide Scientists with Tools That Enable Single Cell Analysis for Oncology, Immunology and Stem Cell Research

NanoString Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTG), a provider of life science tools for translational research and molecular diagnostic products, and BD Biosciences, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, recently announced a collaboration agreement for the development of a single cell isolation and analysis workflow.

Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop a workflow using the NanoString nCounter®Analysis System (including the nCounter Single Cell Assay) and the BD Flow Cytometry cell sorter product line (emphasizing the new BD FACSJazz™ Cell Sorting System). The combined workflow will enable single cell gene expression analysis for research applications such as oncology, immunology and stem cell research. Collaboration activities will also include the development of materials documenting the workflow protocol, as well as co-hosting meetings and webinars to educate scientists about the single cell workflow.

“Maximizing both the quantity and quality of data that can be extracted from a single cell is critical to the emerging field of single cell biology. The nCounter Analysis System can analyze entire gene pathways and provides a highly precise and reproducible digital output, making it ideally suited to the task,” said Brad Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer, NanoString Technologies. “The nCounter Analysis System and the BD FACSJazz Cell Sorting System can together provide a powerful and efficient workflow for single cell gene expression analysis.”

“Our collaboration with NanoString Technologies furthers BD’s commitment to providing researchers advanced solutions for cell analysis and isolation,” said Alberto Mas, President, BD Biosciences. “We believe this new sorting workflow will complement the recent and very rapid advances in genomic studies that value the requirement for greater sample integrity for critical single cell analysis.”

NanoString Technologies’ nCounter Analysis System is a multi-application digital detection and counting system with a highly automated and simple workflow. The company’s Single Cell Gene Expression application provides researchers with a highly flexible and sensitive approach to discovering differences in cell-to-cell gene expression profiles.The application enables up to 800 genes to be detected in a single tube.

The BD FACSJazz Cell Sorting System is capable of identifying, characterizing and isolating single or multiple cells – from complex or extremely rare cell populations – and depositing them in 96 and 384 well plates to provide rapid cell isolation, tracking and identification throughout the process.

For more information about NanoString Technologies, the nCounter Analysis System and the nCounter Single Cell Assay, please visit www.nanostring.com.

For more information on the BD FACSJazz Cell Sorting System, please visit www.bdbiosciences.com/facsjazz.

Source: BD Biosciences

Next-Generation Circulating Tumor Cell Test Demonstrates High Efficiency and Accuracy in New Study

Veridex, LLC (Veridex) recently announced that the first study of the company’s next-generation circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology, developed in collaboration with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), has been published in Science Translational Medicine. The collaboration, initially announced in January 2011, has led to the development of a next-generation CTC (or “liquid biopsy”) technology that offers enhanced specificity and sensitivity and enables more extensive characterization of captured cells.

The new technology tests for CTCs from the blood of cancer patients using advanced microfluidic separation techniques integrated with innovative magnetic sorting to isolate a broad spectrum of rare circulating cancer cells. This technology will allow physicians to get information about a patient’s cancer at the time treatment is being administered, one of the key components to enabling personalized medicine.

Results from the in vitro study showed the integrated system enabled the processing of large blood volumes with high throughput and efficiency, and also allowed for the ability to isolate CTCs from both epithelial and non-epithelial cancers.

In the study, the technology was used to identify the presence of CTCs in patients with cancers of the lung, prostate, pancreas, breast, as well as melanoma.

“Veridex is proud to have introduced CELLSEARCH®, the first and only FDA-cleared CTC test, and we’re excited to work with the team at Massachusetts General Hospital on our next-generation test,” said Nicholas C. Dracopoli , Ph.D., Vice President and Head of Oncology Biomarkers, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “Together, Veridex and the MGH team bring more than 25 years of experience in rare cell technology to this project. We’re encouraged by the positive results from this study and the potential role this technology may play in helping to advance physicians’ ability to monitor their patients and develop more personalized treatment approaches.”

“These results show the possibility of its use for patients in ‘real time’ as they are receiving treatment. We hope that this next-generation CTC technology will become an everyday tool for doctors treating patients with cancer,” said Mehmet Toner , Ph.D., director of the BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems Resource Center in the Massachusetts General Hospital.

How It Works

The system used two modes of immunomagnetic sorting to isolate CTCs: a positive selection mode to identify and tag target CTCs based on expression of the epithelial surface marker EpCAM (“epithelial cell adhesion molecule”), and a negative selection mode, in which the blood sample is depleted of leukocytes by tagging them with specific antibodies. The test’s ability to isolate CTCs in this manner allows for RNA-based, single cell molecular characterization and expression analysis of CTCs. It will also allow for the test to be used in a broader range of cancers, including cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cells.

The technology integrates three sequential processes in a single automated system to capture clinically significant CTCs. First, after whole blood samples have been labeled with magnetic beads, the system separates nucleated cells, including CTCs and white blood cells, from red blood cells and platelets with minimal cell loss. Next, the system aligns nucleated cells in a single file within a sorting channel. Finally, the magnetically tagged cells are deflected into a collection channel for identification. These three integrated functions replace the need for separate cell lysis (break down), centrifugation and sorting steps.

About Circulating Tumor Cells

Circulating tumor cells are cancer cells that have detached from the tumor and are found at extremely low levels in the bloodstream. The value of capturing and counting CTCs is evolving as more research data is gathered about the utility of these markers in monitoring disease progression and potentially guiding personalized cancer therapy.

Study: Inertial Focusing for Tumor Antigen–Dependent and –Independent Sorting of Rare Circulating Tumor Cells

Source: PR Newswire

Covance and M2Gen Enter into Alliance to Promote Faster Patient Recruitment in Biomarker-Driven Oncology Trials

Covance Inc. (NYSE: CVD), a leading provider of drug development services, announced today that it has entered into an exclusive alliance and services agreement with M2Gen, a subsidiary of the Moffitt Cancer Center and leader in advancing personalized medicine by using high-quality tissue, clinical data and molecular technology to advance research for personalized cancer treatments. Under the agreement, Covance and M2Gen will work together to offer biopharmaceutical clients the ability to match potential patients for biomarker-driven oncology trials with the right treatment or clinical trial. In addition, Covance will become the preferred provider for M2Gen for DNA/RNA sequencing, gene expression analysis, and genotyping analysis services, which will be conducted at Covance’s genomics laboratory in Seattle, Washington.

M2Gen’s cancer-focused data warehouse, one of the largest of its kind in the world, and related specimen biorepository, links longitudinal clinical, molecular and specimen data from more than 95,000 consented patients from Moffitt Cancer Center and a consortium of 17 hospitals throughout the United States. M2Gen uses a proprietary healthcare informatics platform to support a clinical trial matching program, which can significantly reduce the timeline for identifying suitable participants for enrollment in clinical trials and improve the design of biomarker driven trials.

“Working together, Covance and M2Gen expect to help biopharmaceutical companies accelerate their drug development programs, make better decisions, and improve their efforts to develop targeted therapies for cancer patients,” said Ken Somberg, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Covance and Vice President, Clinical Development Services. “M2Gen’s database is unique in the industry, with clinical data captured and maintained over the cancer patient’s lifetime. This alliance will help us partner with sponsors as the field of personalized medicine continues to evolve, and as we work toward a common goal of bringing new life-saving medicines to patients who need them.”

”M2Gen considers Covance to be an ideal strategic partner with the goal of connecting patients to the best treatment options, including clinical trials, by accelerating the discovery and delivery of personalized medicine,” said Bill Dalton, PhD, MD, President and CEO of M2Gen.

Covance is a leader in clinical oncology and has conducted more than 130 trials across several tumor types in the past five years on behalf of biopharmaceutical sponsors. The alliance with M2Gen will extend Covance’s personalized medicine strategy and reinforce its drug development capabilities in this key therapeutic area.

M2Gen and Moffitt Cancer Center will continue efforts to add new hospitals to their network, further expanding access to clinical data for thousands of consenting cancer patients across the United States.

Source: Covance

Quintiles Acquires Expression Analysis, Premier Provider of Genomics Services, to Advance Personalized Medicine

To help biopharmaceutical companies dramatically improve drug development productivity and deliver greater value, Quintiles recently announced the acquisition of Expression Analysis, Inc. (EA), a premier provider of genomics testing and analysis to biopharma, academic, government and non-profit customers.

Affymetrix Launches Advanced RNA Amplification Technology for Whole-Genome Expression Analysis of FFPE Samples

Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) announced today the availability of SensationPlus™ FFPE Amplification and 3’ IVT Labeling Kit (SensationPlus™ FFPE Reagent Kit), consisting of RNA amplification and labeling modules, to enable gene expression profiling of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples on GeneChip® 3’ IVT arrays and Almac XcelTM Array for disease clinical research and retrospective studies.