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Rosetta and Columbia University Medical Center work to develop diagnostic tests

Rosetta Genomics : 14 December, 2007  (New Product)
Rosetta Genomics and Columbia University Medical Center are to collaborate to develop microRNA-based diagnostic tests, early detection as well as prognosis, for three types of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).

The tests will be used to diagnose Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma, Transformed Follicular Lymphoma, and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

'We are constantly expanding our pipeline with new diagnostic and therapeutic programmes, both cancer and non-cancer related, in order to maximise our leading position in microRNA intellectual property and proprietary technologies,' noted Amir Avniel, president and CEO of Rosetta Genomics. 'We are very excited to be collaborating with a leading research institution such as Columbia University Medical Center, and hope more collaboration will follow.'

Combining Rosetta Genomics know-how and proprietary technologies with Columbia University Medical Center's expertise in cancer, researchers will screen for microRNAs that may be used as potential biomarkers and drug targets for these NHL indications.

Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma (DLCL) and Transformed Follicular Lymphoma are the two most common types of NHL, accounting for approximately 45 percent of all new non NHL cases. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. The cancer then invades the blood and can spread to other parts of the body, including the spleen. According to the American Cancer Society, in the USA alone approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with these types of cancers in 2007.

'40 percent of DLCL patients respond well to current therapies and have prolonged survival, whereas the remainder succumb to the disease, and we do not know why,' said Dalia Cohen, global head of R&D at Rosetta Genomics. 'We believe our technology will help answer this question, as well as speed up and simplify the diagnostic process.'

'MicroRNAs perform their regulatory function on key cellular processes further up-stream than other currently used biomarkers,' explained Dr Riccardo Dalla-Favera, professor of Pathology, director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center. 'This is most likely the reason why they are proving to be such good biomarkers. The technologies developed through our collaboration with Rosetta Genomics are very sensitive. Our hope is that by working together, we can continue to take important steps toward better diagnostic tests for cancer patients.'
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