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Biocept, Rosetta Genomics Partner to Profile microRNAs from CTCs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Biocept and Rosetta Genomics said today that they will collaborate in the area of cancer diagnostics.

Under the partnership, researchers from the companies will use Biocept's microfluidic channel technology to capture circulating tumor cells from blood samples and then apply Rosetta's technical expertise and proprietary methods, including RT-PCR technology, to extract and analyze microRNA from the cells.

The companies will test for markers currently offered by Rosetta as well as pursue potential new markers. A joint proof-of-concept study will initially seek to determine whether CTCs from lung cancers provide microRNA signatures similar to those previously demonstrated by Rosetta and currently in clinical use through tissue testing in Rosetta's CLIA laboratory, the companies said.

The project could eventually include the development of next-generation tests that would use CTCs from blood as liquid biopsies in lieu of current invasive approaches. The joint platform could also be of value to pharmaceutical and biotech companies searching for a way to use liquid biopsies, CTCs, and microRNA profiling to predict and monitor response to therapies, the partners said.

"Our ability to capture and release CTCs for further downstream analysis puts us in a unique position to partner with leading companies who have already developed proprietary biomarker signatures," Biocept President and CEO Michael Nall said in a statement. "The concept of looking at microRNAs from CTCs is something that we've had an interest in for some time and Rosetta Genomics, as a leader in this space, is well positioned to help us pursue this diagnostic innovation."