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GEN News Highlights : Dec 22, 2011

HistoRx Licenses Yale University’s Prognostic Biomarker Assay for Melanoma

Test based on AQUA technology will help predict node-negative patients who are most likely to develop disease recurrence.

HistoRx licensed a biomarker-based prognostic melanoma assay from Yale University. It is designed to predict which patients with stage II, node-negative disease have an increased risk of disease recurrence. The assay is based on an automated, quantitative IHC technology called Aqua, which was developed by Yale researchers and which HistoRx is exploiting to develop a range of diagnostics.

The melanoma assay measures five biomarkers found the nucleus and cytoplasm, both separately in each compartment and in total. HistoRx says it can predict which patients with clear lymph nodes have a 40% risk of disease recurrence.

"After surgical resection of the tumor, if the nodes are negative, we don't have much more to offer," comments Aqua technology inventor David Rimm, M.D., who is professor of pathology and director of pathology tissue services at Yale School of Medicine. "This assay allows us to measure the risk of recurrence, which can be helpful to ease patient anxiety or to prompt patients to be aggressive in follow up or even consider adjuvant chemotherapy."  

HistoRx says the test will complement its existing portfolio, which includes diagnostics for breast, lung, and colon cancers. Last month HistoRx and Caliper Life Sciences launched the latter’s Aqua technology-based Vectra 2 system, as an integrated solution for the quantification of protein biomarkers in tissue.

In October GE Healthcare’s Clarient business and HistoRx teamed up to provide pharma services based on the Aqua technology to pharmaceutical clients, through Clarient’s CLIA laboratory. Novartis’ Genoptix subsidiary also offers clinical breast cancer diagnostics based on the Aqua technology.