Epigenomics AG to Discover Biomarkers in R&D Collaboration with Centocor Inc.
Thursday, 04.01.2007, Berlin, Germany and Seattle, WA, USA, Epigenomics AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: ECX) has entered into an R&D collaboration with Centocor Inc., a US-based, biomedicines company, to identify and analyze potential biomarkers for use in Centocor’s oncology program. Under the agreement, Epigenomics will use its proprietary Differential Methylation Hybridization (DMH) microarray platform to perform genome-wide DNA methylation profiling study on samples provided by Centocor. The goal of the collaboration is to identify candidate DNA methylation biomarkers that may support drug development and could ultimately be used for selecting patients that have a higher chance of benefiting from a drug candidate under development at Centocor. Financial details were not disclosed.
“Centocor is our fourth R&D partner who will benefit from our DMH technology to identify biomarkers for an oncology drug since we started offering this unique technology to pharma and biotech companies in spring 2006,” noted Christina Dahlstroem, Epigenomics’ Senior Vice President Clinical Solutions. “The broad acceptance by our partners as well as the experience in our own product development programs validates the advantages in flexibility, genome coverage, and reproducibility of our DMH platform.”
About DNA Methylation
Methylation is a natural epigenetic process that occurs when a methyl group binds to one of DNA’s four bases, cytosine. Methylation is responsible for controlling the activity of genes by turning them off when not needed. Measuring the differences in the methylation patterns between healthy and diseased tissue can be used to detect a change in gene activity that could trigger diseases such as cancer. Similary, DNA methylation patterns can be used to predict a patients response to a drug. Epigenomics has developed an industrial process that is able to read and interpret these methylation patterns and uses them as biomarkers for developing molecular diagnostic and pharmacodiagnostic tests.
Differential Methylation Hybridization (DMH) is the most recent addition to Epigenomics’ proprietary DNA methylation technology portfolio. With Epigenomics’ DMH microarrays more than 50,000 human genomic fragments can be profiled for their methylation status in a single experiment. DMH is robust and delivers highly reproducible results. This makes DMH a fast and cost-effective tool to discover novel DNA methylation markers for diagnostic applications.
About Epigenomics AG
Epigenomics is a molecular diagnostic company with a focus on the development of novel products for cancer. Using DNA methylation markers, Epigenomics’ tests can potentially diagnose disease at an early stage and help guide physicians to select an appropriate therapy. Epigenomics’ defined business strategy covers two complementary core business areas:
In cooperation with industry partners, the company develops diagnostic screening tests for the early detection of cancer, mass market products with huge potentials. Based on easily obtainable body fluid samples (e.g. blood and urine), these tests are aimed at finding cancer at an early stage before symptoms occur. Epigenomics’ product pipeline contains an extensively validated biomarker panel for the early detection of colorectal cancer in blood plasma, and further proprietary DNA methylation biomarkers at various stages of development for prostate, breast and lung cancer detection in body fluids. Epigenomics offers these programs as attractive partnering opportunities for global development, marketing and sales in the fast growing cancer molecular diagnostics market.
As a second core business area, Epigenomics develops tissue-based prognostic tests for prostate and breast cancer patients. With a strong focus on prostate cancer applications, these tests are developed in strategic partnerships with Qiagen (pre-analytics) and Affymetrix (diagnostic device platform). In this area Epigenomics retains the flexibility to decide on potential partnerships for marketing and sales
Pharma, diagnostics and biotech partners can access Epigenomics’ portfolio of proprietary DNA methylation technologies protected by more than 200 patent families through Biomarker Services, IVD Development Collaborations, and Licensing. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a wholly owned subsidiary in Seattle, WA, USA. For more information, please visit Epigenomics’ website at www.epigenomics.com.
This communication expressly or implicitly contains certain forward-looking statements concerning Epigenomics AG and its business. Such statements involve certain known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of Epigenomics AG to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Epigenomics AG is providing this communication as of this date and does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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- Vice President Corporate Communications
- Epigenomics AG
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