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EKF, Mass General to Develop PointMan Assays for Three Cancers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – EKF Diagnostics Holdings today said it and Massachusetts General Hospital have entered into a two-year research collaboration to develop EFK's PointMan assays for certain cancers.

Specifically, the collaboration will develop EKF's technology for detecting treatable cancer mutations in lung, breast, and skin cancer. The hospital will use the technology to detect genetic variations in circulating tumor cells isolated from a patient's blood using its CTC-Chip instrument. EKF will design and develop high-sensitivity assays for use by Mass General with a goal of clinically validating the PCR-based PointMan assays for detecting existing and new mutations in patients' blood samples.

In a statement, Andrew Webb, CEO of EKF Molecular Diagnostics, a subsidiary of EKF Diagnostics Holdings, said that the agreement will move the field closer to the routine use of blood-based tests, rather than tissue biopsy, for detecting cancer. "The combination of [the hospital's] CTC-Chip instrument and the easy-to-use and quick-to-perform PointMan technology should make this approach to cancer detection and monitoring available, ultimately, to the majority of molecular testing laboratories," he said.