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Feb 26, 2013

Developing a Cancer-Specific Microarray

  • Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) inked a license agreement with the Cancer Cytogenomics Microarray Consortium (CCMC) to design a whole-genome, cancer-specific microarray. The array will incorporate probes for over 500 cancer genes and 130 cancer-associated genomic regions from the CCMC’s design for hematological and solid tumors. The aim is to improve cancer research through the accurate identification of DNA copy number changes, and loss of heterozygosity associated with different cancer types.

    The license agreement is founded on OGT’s recent development and commercialization of the CytoSure™ Haematological Cancer +SNP Array targeting the four common hematological cancers: chronic lymphocytic leukemia, multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and myelodysplastic syndrome.

    “The use of microarray technology will substantially improve the facility of cytogenetics research laboratories to identify cancer,” says M. Anwar Iqbal, Ph.D., president of the CCMC. “The CCMC board appreciates the efforts of companies such as OGT to making the CCMC cancer array design available to the cytogenetics research community worldwide.”

    OGT is also developing a next-generation sequencing tumor profiling assay, which will provide specific information about individual cancer samples to facilitate research into personalized treatment strategies. In addition, OGT has a portfolio of biomarkers for early-stage cancer detection with advanced programs in colorectal and prostate cancer.

    Although OGT is involved in other disease areas such as infectious diseases and glaucoma, the company has forged previous partnerships in cancer as well. Last year, OGT negotiated an exclusive license to 12 colorectal cancer DNA methylation biomarkers developed by researchers at Oslo University Hospital. A few months prior, the firm teamed with Abcodia to develop biomarker-based diagnostics for pancreatic cancer.

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