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Jun 30, 2011

Metamark and Definiens Partner to Develop Tissue-Based Cancer Diagnostics

  • Cancer molecular diagnostics firm Metamark Genetics and cell imaging specialist Definiens signed a development and commercialization partnership to combine their respective multiplex protein detection platform and image-analysis technologies in the development of prognostic and predictive assays for early-stage cancers.

    Definiens specializes in the development of software solutions for biomedical image analysis, data mining, and clinical decision support. The company’s software analyzes images including cell-based assays, whole tissue slides, and full body scans, and enables the correlation of imaging results with data derived from other sources to support decisions in research, diagnostics, and therapy. The firm says its image-analysis framework has enabled the development of technology enabling scientists and clinicians to extract biomarker and expression profiles to identify subsets of descriptors by correlating them against patient outcomes.

    Metamark is exploiting its Prognosis Determinants™ platform to develop prognostic tests for early-stage cancer. Prognosis Determinants are genetic elements that act as functional active drivers of metastasis that confer poor outcome, Metamark says. Originally discovered by scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Prognosis Determinants have been shown to be relevant to a broad spectrum of different tumors and can stratify patients according to their overall and metastasis-free survival, the firm adds

    Metamark is exploiting the technology for development of a suite of MetamarkDx™ Prognostic Assays designed to quantify the functional drivers of metastasis, and to help predict an individual patient’s risk of disease recurrence and aid treatment decision making.  

    “The capability to provide detailed readouts from tissue analysis is opening up new gateways for developing diagnostic assays as we enter the age of personalized medicine,” remarks Thomas Colarusso, vp of sales and operations at Definiens. “We believe the Definiens Developer XD and Tissue Studio software will enable Metamark to classify tumor heterogeneity of multiplexed tissue stains and derive prognostic and predictive assays.”

    Definiens’ Developer XD has been designed as a flexible environment for developing highly customized image-analysis solutions, at the sub-cellular, cellular, or whole organism level. The firm’s Tissue Studio platform is an image-analysis solution for biomarker translational research.


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