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Merrimack to use ACD's RNAscope to Evaluate NSCLC Drug Candidate

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Advanced Cell Diagnostics today announced that Merrimack Pharmaceuticals will use its RNAscope technology for Merrimack's Phase II clinical trial of its drug candidate for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. 

Merrimackwill use ACD's technology to select patients with heregulin-positive, locally advanced metastatic NSCLC for its candidate drug MM-121. Previous trials with heregulin-positive patients have shown significant therapeutic benefits when MM-121 is used in combination with standard therapies, ACD said. The trial to be conducted will be the first for MM-121 to include only patients with a high heregulin biomarker profile. 

Merrimack Senior Vice President of Translational Research Gavin MacBeath said in a statement that his firm evaluated RNAscope in multiple clinical studies, which demonstrated the potential of heregulin as a biomarker for predicting MM-121 benefits. He further noted the technology's ability to detect heregulin within the confines of tumor cells, and its compatibility with existing automation instruments and small tissue specimens, such as fine needle aspirates and core needle biopsies. 

ACD's RNAscope technology is an automated multiplex chromogenic and fluorescent in situ hybridization platform capable of detecting and quantifying RNA biomarkers in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. It offers quantitative molecular detection along with morphological context in a single assay.

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