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News

FASgen Diagnostics and Tetracore to collaborate to develop cancer biomarker tests

FASgen : 30 May, 2008  (Company News)
FASgen Diagnostics and Tetracore have announced that they have entered into a collaboration to produce cGMP ELISA and IHC tests for cancer biomarkers using FASgen's proprietary antibodies.
The tests measure the over-expression of the enzyme fatty acid synthase (FAS), which is found in virtually all solid tumour cancers. FASgen's FAS-detect ELISA and FAS-detect IHC tests, currently available for research purposes, have demonstrated repeated and highly significant success in identifying the progression of the disease in a series of different solid tumours, including, pancreas, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer.

The research results were recently the subject of multiple independent papers and presentations at the AACR annual meeting and at the earlier annual meeting of the Society of Gynaecological Oncologists.

FASgen Diagnostics and Tetracore have been working together for the last six years and the current transaction expands the antibody and kit production role to Tetracore's FDA approved GMP production facility. Tetracore has previously been the primary source of certain new proprietary FASgen antibodies that form the core of the FAS-detect ELISA and FAS-detect IHC tests. Tetracore has also been given the opportunity to invest in FASgen Diagnostics.

'We welcome the opportunity to expand our working relationship with the FASgen Diagnostics team, and are very pleased that they were willing to select Tetracore as the first outside corporate investor to participate in their company,' said Dr William Nelson, president of Tetracore. 'These FAS diagnostic tests represent a new bio-marker platform test for monitoring cancer and will be highly complementary to existing tests to the benefit of patients and clinicians,' said Dr Frank Kuhajda, professor of biochemistry and pathology at Johns Hopkins Medical School and a Founder of FASgen Diagnostics, and who is also credited with the original discovery of the over expression of FAS in solid tumours.

Scientists at FASgen Diagnostics are part of the consortium of researchers at Johns Hopkins who have been studying the role of over expression of fatty acid synthase in cancer. That work has been underway for more than 15 years. FASgen Diagnostics is the sister company to FASgen, which is actively developing therapeutics for the treatment of cancer based on the selective inhibition of fatty acid synthase.

Both Dr Nelson and Dr Kuhajda stated, 'We are very appreciative that we were brought together in the first instance by Eric Stoer, current chairman of FASgen and FASgen Diagnostics, who helped form Tetracore in 2001 and earlier had helped form FASgen and FASgen Diagnostics in 2000. Eric Stoer has been the catalyst in making both companies successful.'

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