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Affymetrix, Mass General in Deal to Develop Cancer Biomarker Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Affymetrix today announced a deal with Massachusetts General Hospital to co-develop cancer biomarker tests using Affy's QuantiGene ViewRNA Assay platform.

As part of the deal, Affy has the commercialization rights to new tests resulting from the collaboration. Other terms were not disclosed.

The QuantiGene ViewRNA Assay is an in situ hybridization assay with single-transcript in single-cell detection capability. The platform is for research-use only.

In a statement, George Bers, Affymetrix vice president, general manager, and Gene Expression Business Unit manager -Panomics, said the deal provides the company with the ability to expand its QuantiGene ViewRNA Assay into the pathology and cancer research markets by providing new chromogenic in situ hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization RNA biomarker assays that have been validated on clinical samples for research applications.

"Advanced in situ RNA hybridization methods applied to less invasive clinical samples, such as FFPE core biopsies, FNAs, and CTCs, has the potential of becoming powerful new tools to deliver diagnostics that enable the oncologist to personalize patient care," Bers said.

Mass General's Cancer Center and Department of Pathology are working with Affy to validate biomarkers using the QuantiGene ViewRNA technology for multiplex in situ testing of FFPE tissue biopsies, FNA cytologies, and CTC "liquid biopsies."

"The future of cancer treatment lies in our ability to precisely identify specific biomarkers so we can then find effective drugs for that particular form of disease," Daniel Haber, director of Mass General's Cancer Center, said. "This collaboration with Affymetrix aims to move this important work forward."

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