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OncoMed, Fluidigm to Analyze Tumor Cell Populations

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and Fluidigm have entered into a collaboration to use microfluidic tools to analyze the heterogeneity of tumor cells, including cancer stem cells, the companies said yesterday.

The partnership will combine Fluidigm's microfluidic platforms with OncoMed's cancer stem cell sorting technology to generate tools to analyze, quantify and develop treatments directed at a highly tumorigenic cell population, the companies said.

Initially, OncoMed, based in Redwood City, Calif., will use Fluidigm's BioMark system and Dynamic Array integrated fluidic circuits to analyze gene expression of solid tumors at the whole tumor and single-cell level. This phase will track changes in cancer stem cells from human tumors following treatment with OncoMed's therapeutic monoclonal antibodies.

The companies will then apply these technologies to analyze tumor heterogeneity and cancer stem cell frequency across OncoMed's human tumor bank, which includes approximately 100 human tumor biopsies that have been engrafted and minimally passaged in immunocompromised mice.

The collaboration may eventually include novel and next-generation microfluidic and tissue sample-preparation technologies currently being developed by South San Francisco, Calif.-based Fluidigm, the companies said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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