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Home Industry News AstraZeneca and Epistem complete oncology biomarker study

AstraZeneca and Epistem complete oncology biomarker study

6th February 2008

AstraZeneca and Epistem have announced the successful completion of an initial study using Epistem’s plucked human hair biomarker technology to advance oncology drug development.

The technology allows for the analysis of gene expression change in RNA extracted from the bulb of cells located at the base of a single hair, with the changes used to identify core gene sets which can aid decision-making in the drug development process.

It has now been demonstrated that single plucked hairs provide effective levels of RNA for gene expression measurement.

Additional analysis of single hairs found reliable detection of 13,000 genes which can be used to establish biomarkers for drug discovery, validation and patient selection.

Professor Andrew Hughes, clinical director of Discovery Medicine at AstraZeneca, suggested that Epistem was at the “forefront” of understanding gene expression profiling.

“Our published results clearly demonstrate that the method is both feasible and practical, and offers the promise of providing insights into both dose and patient selection,” he added.

The companies have confirmed further plans to explore hair follicle core gene sets based on drug-induced gene expression in pathways of interest for specific therapeutics.

The expanded phase of AstraZeneca’s CytoFab trials were confirmed earlier this month, with treatment of the first patient.

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