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NCI Awards Labcyte $196K to Develop Cancer Biomarker Validation System

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Labcyte today announced it has been awarded $196,000 from the National Cancer Institute for the development of a system for early cancer detection.

The funding will go toward a collaborative cancer biomarker validation program that aims to develop a system that integrates "a suite of well-established biotechnologies," including Labcyte's proprietary acoustic liquid handling for arraying and MALDI mass spectrometry preparation.

The validation program is being done in collaboration with the Canary Center of Stanford University.

The new project could accelerate the biomarker validation process "dramatically," Mark Stolowitz, directory of the proteomic core facility of Stanford, said in a statement, adding that currently "we have a serious throughput problem."

Though there are thousands of candidate biomarkers, each one needs to be validated before they have diagnostic applications. Labcyte's acoustic liquid handling "is an enabling technology that will allow us to speed up the validation process with its precise, accurate, and contamination-free liquid transfer system," he said.

Richard Ellison, CTO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Labcyte, said that the firm's acoustic liquid handling technology uses focused ultrasound to "sense and adapt to liquid characteristics, providing both precision in the volume and placement of challenging fluids such as patient samples and volatile reagents."

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