Epistem inked a three-year biomarker collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that aims to identify key features of diseased fibrotic tissue. The partnership will exploit Epistem’s RNA-Amp™ amplification technology to aid in the generation of gene-expression data. The U.K. firm will also contribute its cell and molecular biology expertise to the collaboration.
Epistem is focused on commercializing adult stem cells in the therapeutic areas of oncology and gastrointestinal diseases. The firm operates three distinct business divisions: contract research services, biomarkers/diagnostics, and novel therapies.
The firm’s biomarkers division is exploiting its GenetRx™ and RNA-Amp amplification technologies for the development of products and services in nucleic acid analysis, biomarker discovery and assay development, biomarker panels, toxicogenomics, and clinical and preclinical testing. The GenetRx technology is a cDNA amplification system for deriving mRNA gene-expression profiles from a single hair or other clinical tissue. Epistem is exploiting the technology for the provision of services for the discovery of biomarkers for research, clinical, and therapeutic applications.
The firm has in addition developed its RNA-Amp kits for cDNA amplification from very small biological or clinical samples. A range of kits are available to enable amplification of cDNA from pictogram to nanogram total RNA starting material, or from single cells. The kits are complemented by an RNA-Amp Labeling kit for cDNA labeling.
The biomarker collaboration with GSK follows less than 10 days after Epistem announced an Indian sales and marketing agreement for its Genedrive™ point of care tuberculosis test with Xcelris Laboratories.