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AlphaGene Partners With Lahey Clinic to Validate Prostate Cancer Marker

NEW YORK, July 11 – AlphaGene and Lahey Clinic will jointly investigate a potential diagnostic marker for prostate cancer, AlphaGene said Wednesday.

Prostate-specific carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), a protein AlphaGene said it had discovered in early May, has the potential to act as an early stage marker for the disease. AlphaGene and its partner, Massachusetts-based care provider Lahey Clinic, will attempt to validate that the antigen’s genetic sequence is associated with prostate cancer, and compare the alternative splice variants of the prostate CEA.

To investigate the new antigen’s effectiveness as a marker compared to Prostate Specific Antigen, the current widely-used marker for the disease, the two companies will develop antibodies for various regions of prostate CEA and test the antibodies in tissue, serum, and metastatic samples provided by Lahey Clinic. 

AlphaGene, of Woburn, Mass., will supply the gene for prostate CEA, related gene inventories, microarray manufacturing services, gene expression analysis, and bioinformatics services. The company is pursuing additional research alliances with other clinics to evaluate its other genetic markers for cancer and neurological diseases, AlphaGene vice president and chief scientific officer Peter Schad said in a statement.

In June, AlphaGene said it had partnered with Indian bioinformatics company Questar in an equity investment and a trade-of-services deal valued at about $5 million.