For immediate release
November 15, 2010
San Diego, CA — November 15, 2010 — Molecular Response (MRL), a privately held molecular diagnostic services company and a leader in the identification of target populations for high value therapeutics, announced today the acquisition of the world’s largest cryo-preserved human cancer tissue bank more than 144,000 specimens procured over 20 years. The company acquired the tumor bank, along with properly de-identified clinical information and validated test procedures, as part of a major acquisition of key assets formerly owned by Oncotech.
“Our acquisition of this incredible tumor bank and associated clinical information provides a unique platform for our collaborators in both pre-clinical and clinical applications,” noted Cyrus K. Mirsaidi, CEO of Molecular Response. “In concert with our biopharma partners we can select what disease targets to avoid for new drug candidates and pick the best new cancer indications for experimental drugs to maximize clinical trial budgets.”
The bank features more than 144,000 discrete cancer samples that are preserved as living single-cell suspensions, stored at -180C, to ensure availability for cell line propagation (cell culture, xenograft and direct human-to-mouse), and downstream ex-vivo treatments. Each of the specimens has been profiled against a panel of drugs, and that information is available to Molecular Response customers in order to select tumor cells of interest based on drug sensitivity/resistance profiles.
The size of the bank allows pharmaceutical companies to screen and select for cancers featuring particular molecular characteristics, and study the effects of their drug on those specific cases. Molecular Response offers a full suite of molecular testing to support those activities.
“The field has long wanted to do large scale ex vivo drug treatment on primary cells, but we’ve been severely limited by tissue availability and have often had to settle for underpowered preclinical studies that look at only a handful of cases or cell lines,” said Dr. Thomas B. Broudy, CSO of Molecular Response. “With the bank we’ve made commercially available, everything changes; our partners will be able to test a drug against hundreds or even thousands of primary cells and that gives us an opportunity to develop clinically sound hypotheses that will help identify new diagnostic and therapeutic targets.”
Additionally, the cryopreserved tumor specimens are accompanied by over 500,000 histology slides used for clinical diagnoses that span 76 separate oncology classifications. As part of the asset acquisition, MRL also secured related test validation protocols used for molecular characterization of the samples.
About Molecular Response
Molecular Response is a leader in advancing targeted therapeutics through intelligently designed, clinically validated companion diagnostics. Our goal is to reduce risk and cost of therapeutic drug development for our partners by translating clinically relevant molecular response marker data into high-value knowledge while fully integrated into existing pharmaceutical development processes and programs; Our results reduce risk and cost of drug development and allow for the most informed decisions with best chance of success to advance therapeutic programs.
For additional information please visit www.molecularresponse.com.