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Oct 13, 2011

Prostate Cancer Foundation to Help Exosome Diagnostics Fortify Development of Exosome Biofluid Test

  • The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Exosome Diagnostics entered a multiyear collaboration to accelerate clinical validation of Exosome's biofluid molecular diagnostics technology in prostate cancer. In addition, Howard Soule, Ph.D., CSO of PCF, will join the company’s scientific advisory board.

    The partnership will explore the capabilities of a new generation of RNA biofluid diagnostics for early identification, progression monitoring, and advanced disease risk stratification in prostate cancer. The agreement aims to bring together world-leading clinicians, researchers, and industry participants to explore and develop the full potential of stable, high-quality, disease-specific RNA harvested from exosomes found in blood and urine samples.

    "Our collaboration with the Prostate Cancer Foundation represents one of the most efficient and constructive ways to bring all the constituents together around a new personalized medicine technology,” remarks James McCullough, CEO of Exosome Diagnostics. “This progressive collaboration assures that we have the right people at the table on the front side of the clinical translation process to accurately assess unmet medical opportunities, properly design validation studies, and deliver exosome technology benefits quickly to patients."

    In August PCF and Exosome Diagnostics hosted the first in a series of meetings with leading investigators to discuss the state of prostate cancer diagnostic and therapeutic options, exosome technology applications, performance requirements, and barriers to clinical validation. Participating in the meeting, held in New York City, included senior principal investigators from academic institutions including Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, Texas University MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Michigan Health System, Weill Cornell Hospital and Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

    The deal between PCF and Exosome Diagnostics will support near-term in vitro validation of known clinical prostate cancer biomarkers. It will also support a biomarker discovery program for prostate cancer from diagnosis through progression and treatment.

    Exosomes are shed into all biofluids, including blood, urine, and CSF, forming a stable source of intact, disease-specific nucleic acids, Exosome Diagnostics explains. The company's technology makes use of this natural stability to achieve high sensitivity for rare gene transcripts and the expression of genes responsible for cancers and other diseases.

    "Better management of prostate cancer patients requires improved diagnostic methods,” notes Dr. Soule. “We believe that exosome technology may represent an opportunity to improve patient outcomes through more specific diagnosis than is currently available with the standard PSA test.”


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