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Exosome Diagnostics, Eli Lilly Partner on Biomarker Discovery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Exosome Diagnostics said today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly for biomarker discovery and validation using Exosome's EXO50 nucleic acid extraction kit.

Under the agreement, the financial terms of which were not disclosed, Lilly will gain early access to Exosome's technology to help it identify key gene mutations and expression levels in blood that may be correlated with drug response and disease recurrence.

Exosome's technology "may provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the biology of complex conditions such as cancer and immune disorders," Andrew Schade, senior medical director of diagnostic and experimental pathology at Lilly, said in a statement.

The technology, Schade added, enables biofluid molecular sampling and the ability to monitor disease progression in real time.

Exosomes and other microvesicles are secreted by all cells into all biofluids and provide a natural biological packaging and distribution mechanism for RNA and DNA. Exosome Diagnostics' rapid exosome isolation and extraction technology produces high-quality RNA and DNA, including full length mRNA and microRNA, from small volumes of patient biofluids, such as blood (serum and plasma), urine, and cerebrospinal fluid, for subsequent analysis with PCR, array, and sequencing instruments, Exosome said.

Analysis can be performed on fresh or frozen fluid samples, allowing for broad analyses of clinical trial samples, both in real-time and retrospectively, with no special preservation methods. Exosomes and their protected nucleic acid contents are being investigated in a broad range of diseases including cancer, CNS disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease, maternal/fetal medicine, and chronic kidney disease, among others, Exosome said.

In July, Qiagen and Exosome signed an agreement to create high-performance biofluid sample preparation kits for personalized healthcare research. The agreement covers the exclusive supply of these products upon availability in 2014.

Last month, Exosome inked a collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to research and develop nucleic acid-based body fluid diagnostics. The company also recently raised $7 million of a planned $8.5 million private financing.