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Molecular Response Acquires Oncotech's Cryo-preserved Human Cancer Tissue Bank

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular Response this week announced it has acquired the world's largest cryo-preserved human cancer tissue bank formerly owned by Oncotech.

In addition, it has acquired de-identified clinical information and validated test procedures and secured related test validation protocols for molecular characterization of the samples as part of the deal.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Oncotech was acquired in 2007 by Exiqon, which decided in December that it would be divesting the Tustin, Calif.-based cancer diagnostics company. In June, Exiqon decided to shut down Oncotech after Medicare declined coverage of its EDR tests.

The tissue bank acquired by Molecular Response contains more than 144,000 discrete cancer samples preserved as living single-cell suspensions, stored at minus-180 degrees Celsius. Each specimen has been profiled against a panel of drugs so that researchers can select tumor cells of interest based on sensitivity and/or resistance profiles, the San Diego-based company said.

It added that the size of the bank allows drug makers to screen and select for cancers that have specific molecular characteristics and to study the effects of the drugs on those specific cases.

"Our acquisition of this incredible tumor bank and associated clinical information provides a unique platform for our collaborators in both pre-clinical and clinical applications," said Molecular Response CEO Cyrus Mirsaidi. "In concert with our biopharma partners we can select what disease targets to avoid for new drug candidates and pick the best new cancer indications for experimental drugs to maximize clinical trial budgets."

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