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Mayo Clinic Licenses Expression Pathology Technology for MS-based Amyloidosis Assay

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This story originally ran on Nov. 18.

Expression Pathology has licensed non-exclusive rights to its Liquid Tissue patent to the Mayo Clinic for the diagnosis of amyloidosis in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, the Rockville, Md.-based sample prep company announced on Tuesday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Expression Pathology's technology is a method for solubilizing and capturing the total protein content of microdissected FFPE tissue. Starting with about 30,000 cells, the Liquid Tissue technology can identify more than 2,000 proteins from such samples using LC-MS/MS analyses, the company said.

Mayo has applied the Liquid Tissue technology to develop a mass spectrometry-based method for the diagnosis and classification of amyloidosis in routine biopsy samples in a clinical setting, and will be offering the test to patients worldwide through its reference laboratory, Mayo Medical Laboratories.

Amyloidosis is a condition in which amyloid proteins build up in organs. It is characterized by organ function impairment, and subtyping of the disease is crucial for proper patient care, Expression Pathology said. About 50,000 cases of amyloidosis are diagnosed worldwide each year, the company said in a statement.

According to the firm, the Liquid Tissue-based method shows greater sensitivity and specificity than traditional immunohistochemistry-based classification.

"Detailed mass spectrometry analysis of proteins related to specific disease conditions in FFPE tissue is opening huge opportunities in personalized medicine to relate those measurements to patient treatment decisions," Casey Eitner, president and CEO of Expression Pathology, said.

In April, the firm announced it had received a $6.5 million investment from biotechnology and therapeutics company Abraxis Bisciences to continue work on developing pharmacogenomic clinical assays using the Liquid Tissue MS protocol. The same month, it also announced that it had co-developed with protein biomarker firm NextGen Sciences a protein biomarker assay method that provides rapid, reproducible, and quantitative measurements of protein expression in FFPE samples [See PM 04/23/09].

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