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BioMarker Strategies Wins NCI Grant for Biomarker System

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioMarker Strategies said today that it has won a Phase II contract valued at up to $2.3 million from the National Cancer Institute to develop its live tumor cell testing system.

The Baltimore-based company said that it already had received the first $1 million of the contract to develop its SnapPath system, and it will be eligible for an additional $1 million in funding in April 2011 — that could bring the total contract award to $2.3 million, including the $300,000 the firm received in Phase I funding.

The SnapPath system uses a systems biology approach to develop ex vivo biomarker tests that could potentially be used to guide the development and use of targeted cancer treatments. The firm said that the system will automate processing, sample preparation, and testing of biopsies from patients with solid tumor-based cancers, including breast, colon, lung, and pancreatic cancer.

BioMarker Strategies CEO Karen Olson said in a statement that the firm hopes that its SnapPath system will "show the research and clinical potential" of ex vivo diagnostics using its technologies.

The technology also may be used to help doctors determine the most effective and targeted treatments for their patients, the company said.

In addition to its funding from NCI, BioMarker Strategies has raised more than $4 million from private investors, including the Abell Foundation, to develop the SnapPath system.