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Expression Pathology to ID Cancer Protein Biomarkers for Roche's Drug Development Pipeline

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Proteomics firm Expression Pathology announced this week an agreement with Roche to provide its Liquid Tissue SRM technology in support of the identification of protein biomarkers for cancer drug development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Expression Pathology will develop multiplexed quantitative mass spectrometry assays for the detection of cancer signaling pathway proteins in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples.

Expression Pathology uses its Director laser microdissection platform to collect specific cell types from FFPE tissue. It then applies its Liquid Tissue technology to solubilize and capture the protein content of the tissue, which it then analyzes via single-reaction monitoring mass spectrometry.

The company, which, according to its website, is in the process of establishing a CLIA-certified laboratory from which it plans to provide proprietary diagnostic tests developed on its platform, offers a number of SRM assays, including several for major cancer signaling networks like EFGR, IGF-1R, cMET, Her3, cSRC, and MEK.

In a statement, Miro Venturi, senior biomarker and experimental medicine leader at Roche, said Expression Pathology's platform "has the potential to dramatically streamline and improve biomarker identification in FFPE samples during clinical development."

Longer term, he said, the technology could become "a new way of profiling tumors at the molecular level to improve patient stratification and therefore advancing our discovery of personalized medicine."

In December, Expression Pathology announced a service partnership with digital pathology company Flagship Biosciences for the development of protein biomarkers in FFPE (PM 12/10/2010).

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