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Proteome Sciences, Moffitt Collaborate on Mass Spec Assays for Cancer Studies

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Proteome Sciences said this week that it has signed a collaboration agreement with the Moffitt Cancer Center of Tampa, Fla., under which it will support the development of mass spec assays measuring signaling and repair pathway proteins for clinical tumor biopsy analysis.

The collaboration will allow Moffitt researchers to "extend [their activities] to incorporate a large number of key proteins and post-translational modifications to rapidly translate laboratory tests into the direct management of cancer patients," John Koomen, scientific director of Moffitt's proteomics core facility, said in a statement.

Koomen's research, which Proteome Sciences will be aiding via the agreement, focuses on using mass spec – especially multiple reaction monitoring – for targeted analysis of clinically useful biomarkers.

In particular, his lab is investigating candidate biomarkers related to the adenomatous polyposis coli protein as well protein expression in related signaling pathways that could be used for predicting patient outcomes in colon cancer. His team is also studying direct drug targets and apoptosis-related proteins in parallel with specific signaling pathways in multiple myeloma with the aim of building preclinical models that could aid in rational chemotherapy.

Given its focus on signaling pathways, the collaboration will likely involve work on post-translational modifications like phosphorylation – an area that Proteome Sciences chief operating officer Ian Pike told ProteoMonitor last year was of considerable interest to the firm, noting that it was working on assays to measure the effects of different kinase inhibitors on tumor cells (PM 11/19/2010).

In a statement issued this week, Pike said that the company hopes to develop and launch a number of new mass spec-based assays from the Moffitt collaboration.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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