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Expression Pathology in PGx Pact with Toronto Hospitals

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Expression Pathology said today that it is collaborating with research hospitals in Toronto that will use its proteomic analysis tools in studies aimed at developing an assay that could be used to identify patients that are most likely to respond to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) drugs.

The collaboration involves the Hospital for Sick Children and the University Health Network, which includes Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, and Princess Margaret Hospital, the Rockville, Md.-based company said.

EGFR is a cancer pathway protein that is being targeted by several cancer therapeutics that are either already on the market or in development.

This collaboration will combine Expression Pathology's Liquid Tissue SRM proteomic assay platform with Sick Kids' advanced mass spectrometry capabilities and UHN's pathology and oncology knowledge. Together, the partners will attempt to accurately measure the EGFR protein and its activation in cancers using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue.

Expression Pathology's Director laser micro-dissection technology is used to collect cancer cells from FFPE tissue, and its Liquid Tissue sample preparation solubilizes those cells into a liquid that can be used on mass spectrometry instruments.

"This is part of a broad program we have embarked on to exploit our unique ability to apply mass spectrometry to FFPE tissue," Expression Pathology VP of Research and Development Jon Burrows said in a statement. "We are developing quantitative companion diagnostic Liquid Tissue SRM Assays for many important protein pathways targeted by existing and emerging cancer drugs."