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Medical University of Vienna to Evaluate Angle's CTC Capture System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Angle today announced a collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Cluster Translation Oncology at the Medical University of Vienna to evaluate the use of the UK diagnostics firm's Parsortix circulating tumor cell system in ovarian cancer.

A team led by Robert Zeillinger, head of the molecular oncology group at the university, is investigating the efficacy of Parsortix in capturing circulating tumor cells from blood samples of ovarian cancer patients. The goal is to use the platform in combination with RNA biomarkers for CTCs that Zeilinger and his colleagues have developed.

Angle said that there is particular interest in Parsortix because it is epitope-independent and does not use an antibody-based capture approach. Most ovarian cancer CTCs do not express the epithelial cell surface marker EpCAM, which is widely used for CTC capture, so antibody-based methods for capturing CTCs in ovarian cancer has limited effectiveness, the company said.

Parsortix can capture very rare CTCs in patient blood, even when there is less than one CTC in 1 billion healthy cells, facilitating the evaluation of mutations in a patient's cancer for personalized care, Angle said on its website. The system is commercially available to the research market and Angle has gained CE marking for Parsortix for the clinical space in Europe. The company said it is targeting approval by the US Food and Drug Administration for the system in 2014.

In a statement, Zeillinger said that in Europe about 67,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 42,000 women die from the disease every year. Although some 75 percent of patients respond to first-line chemotherapy, most of these patients relapse and eventually die of the disease.

"We hope that by investigating the CTCs of patients using Angle's Parsortix system, we can identify ways to improve the treatment offered to these patients," he said.