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Rosetta Genomics to develop trio of new diagnostic tests

Rosetta Genomics : 19 June, 2008  (Company News)
Rosetta Genomics has announced the advancement of three new diagnostic tests into its development pipeline.
The company expects to develop and market the new tests through its own CLIA-certified laboratory, for which the company recently signed a binding acquisition term sheet.

'We aim to be the leading high-complexity molecular diagnostics company, and we believe we have fine-tuned our product engine. This engine is now capable of producing a stream of products that answer unmet medical needs,' said Amir Avniel, chief executive officer and president of Rosetta Genomics. 'We believe that by the end of 2009, we will have established a prominent position in the oncology and women's health fields.'

Utilising unique microRNA biomarkers identified using Rosetta Genomics' proprietary microRNA extraction and quantification methods, the new programmes will focus on the following indications, which are expected to be clinically available during 2009-2010:

1) Predicting response to treatment of ovarian cancer patients
- Platinum-based cytotoxic chemotherapy in conjunction with debulking surgery is currently the gold standard of treatment for patients with ovarian cancer. However, approximately 20 to 50 percent of patients do not respond to platinum-based chemotherapy and will require additional second line treatment. Furthermore, research suggests that administering platinum-based treatment to patients who subsequently do not respond to it may actually hinder their response to the second line treatment as well. Rosetta Genomics has identified unique microRNA biomarkers that may assist in identifying ovarian cancer patients expected to benefit from platinum-based chemotherapy.

2) Predicting risk of gastric cancer recurrence - Recurrence after curative resection for gastric cancer is high and is estimated to occur in 50 to 80 percent of patients. This test will use microRNA molecular classification of gastric cancer samples to predict the risk of recurrence for non-metastatic patients after resection of the primary tumour.

3) Differentiating small from non-small cell lung cancer - An estimated 220,000 patients are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the USA alone. Before a patient begins lung cancer treatment, an experienced lung cancer pathologist must review the pathologic material. This is critical because small cell lung cancer, which is generally not treated surgically, can be confused on microscopic examination with non-small cell carcinoma. Rosetta Genomics has identified unique microRNA biomarkers that may be used to differentiate small from non-small cell lung cancers.

In addition, utilising its proprietary extraction and quantification microRNA technologies, the company has recently identified microRNA biomarkers in the serum of colon cancer patients which may serve as the basis for a future blood-based test for colon cancer.

'Molecular diagnostic companies like Rosetta Genomics are well positioned to enjoy accelerated growth, unprecedented in the traditional diagnostics market,' noted Ronen Tamir, executive vice president of marketing and communication of Rosetta Genomics. 'Our rich product pipeline, combined with the upcoming acquisition of a commercial CLIA-certified laboratory, will position us to participate in such a growth trend in the molecular diagnostics industry.'

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