Affymetrix, a provider of scalable, innovative genomic analysis tools, and ScreenCell, a privately-held company, announced today the signing of a worldwide distribution agreement regarding ScreenCell's isolation devices and dilution buffers, products designed for the collection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood for enhanced cancer monitoring.
The agreement makes Affymetrix the sole 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' industry-leading QuantiGene® ViewRNA Assays, QuantiGene® Plex Assays, and GeneChip® Microarray Assays. The QuantiGene® ViewRNA CTC platform, consisting of ScreenCell's products and Affymetrix' QuantiGene ViewRNA Assays, is now available from Affymetrix.
"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," stated George Bers, Vice President & General Manager, 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. We are proud to be ScreenCell's global partner and look forward to releasing additional assays and research applications."
ScreenCell's products isolate by size and characterize a wide variety of tumor cells through the use of state-of-the-art, single-use devices. The types of tumor cells identifiable by these devices include mesenchymal cells, cancer stem cells, microembolii, and cancer cells of non-epithelial origin. These cells, considered to be vital in metastasis, are not consistently captured or detected by existing technology. Additionally, cells collected by ScreenCell devices are well preserved morphologically and can be isolated, then 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 non-epithelial origin and free of any bias potentially linked to the use of antibodies for cell capture," stated David Znaty, Chief Executive Officer of ScreenCell. "Our goal is to provide a technology to support further research for use in personalized medicine by creating a broadly accessible, non-invasive evaluation of specific, potential therapeutic targets. We are excited to work with Affymetrix not just for their commercial strength, but because we believe strongly in our combined technologies."
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