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OncoCyte, Wistar to Develop Gene Expression-based Lung Cancer Diagnostic

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioTime subsidiary OncoCyte today announced that it will collaborate with the Wistar Institute on the development of a gene expression-based lung cancer test.

Under the agreement, OncoCyte scientists will analyze levels of tumor-associated proteins in blood samples from patients in an ongoing study conducted by Wistar. Scheduled to wrap up in mid-2014, two thirds of a planned total of 600 samples have already been collected in the study.

The collaboration includes both a sponsored research and a material transfer agreement, which give OncoCyte the option to exclusively license discoveries, inventions, or technologies that come from this research.

"There is a large and growing need for more sensitive, cost-effective, and less-invasive methods to detect and monitor cancer in humans, particularly in lung cancer," Louise Show, a professor in the molecular and cellular oncogenesis program of Wistar's NCI-designated cancer center, said in a statement. "In addition to the development of a diagnostic gene panel, our previous studies provided new insights into the interactions of cancer and the immune system. We look forward to expanding those studies through this collaboration."

According to OncoCyte, the ability of the markers in the study to determine the presence or the progression of disease in various categories of lung cancer patients "may determine the specific nature of the lung cancer test to be developed and the regulatory pathway that OncoCyte will pursue.