Technology combines ScreenCell’s isolation devices with Affymetrix’ QuantiGene ViewRNA assay.

Affymetrix signed a worldwide distribution agreement for ScreenCell’s isolation devices and dilution buffers for the collection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood. The QuantiGene® ViewRNA CTC platform, which consists of ScreenCell’s products and Affymetrix’ QuantiGene ViewRNA Assays, is now available from Affymetrix.

The arrangement makes Affymetrix the exclusive distributor of ScreenCell products used in combination with in situ hybridization (ISH) assays, microarray assays, and other non-PCR based nucleic acid assays including Affymetrix’ QuantiGene ViewRNA assays, QuantiGene Plex assays, and GeneChip® microarray assays.

“This agreement is a powerful combination of two innovative technologies, one designed to isolate rare cells of potentially significant prognostic and predictive value in cancer, and another, our QuantiGene ViewRNA ISH cell assays, designed to detect single RNA transcripts in single CTCs and rare cells with high specificity,” states George Bers, vp and GM, expression business unit—Panomics for Affymetrix.

“Today we are launching our CTC platform, which combines our highly sensitive and specific QuantiGene ViewRNA assay with ScreenCell’s isolation devices. We believe this platform may potentially have a dramatic impact on disease detection, enabling researchers in translational sciences to further examine the impact on treatment, management, and outcome in cancer.”

ScreenCell offers single-use devices to isolate by size and characterize a wide variety of tumor cells, both live and fixed, including mesenchymal cells, cancer stem cells, microemboli, and cancer cells of nonepithelial origin. These cells, which are considered to be important in metastasis, are often not captured or cannot be sensitively detected through existing technologies that only target cells expressing EpCam, a transmembrane glycoprotein on epithelial cells. With the ScreenCell devices, collected cells are also well preserved morphologically and can be isolated and grown in culture for drug screening or further genomics analysis.

“Our goal in designing ScreenCell technologies was to create a universal system, not limited to detection of cells of nonepithelial origin and free of any bias potentially linked to the use of antibodies for cell capture,” explains David Znaty, CEO of ScreenCell. “Our goal is to provide a technology to support further research for use in personalized medicine by creating a broadly accessible, noninvasive evaluation of specific, potential therapeutic targets.”

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