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Labcyte Commends Early Success of Collaborator, The Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, for Personalized Leukemia Treatment Method

Just eight months after announcing a collaboration between Labcyte Inc. and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), the partnership has already led to a groundbreaking method for personalized treatment of patients with adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

December 17, 2013

Sunnyvale, CA

SUNNYVALE, California and HELSINKI, Finland─December 17, 2013─Just eight months after announcing a collaboration between Labcyte Inc. and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), the partnership has already led to a groundbreaking method for personalized treatment of patients with adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

In a recent Cancer Discovery publication, Individualized Systems Medicine strategy to tailor treatments for patients with chemorefractory acute myeloid leukemia1, researchers from FIMM describe a “strategy based on the systematic functional testing of patient-derived primary cancer cells to targeted anti-cancer agents coupled with genomic and molecular profiling.” Developed to enhance the treatment of clinical patients, this iterative process allows FIMM researchers to adjust cancer treatment for each patient individually. “Using ISM to combine genomics with drug testing on patient cells ex vivo provided clues to existing drugs that could be repositioned for AML therapy as well as new drugs and drug combinations that may have potential. Thus, this approach may help both to prioritize treatments in the clinic as well as prioritize the most promising drugs to be brought for clinical testing,” says Krister Wennerberg, FIMM-EMBL Group Leader and Head of the High Throughput Biomedicine Unit at FIMM.

A key component of ISM is the use of Drug Sensitivity and Resistance Testing (DSRT) to assess effects of repurposed therapeutics for cancer treatment. DSRT tests compare efficacy of chemotherapeutics with those of emerging clinically available targeted therapeutics in ex vivo assays, as well as in vivo patient studies. FIMM also uses a novel method to score responses of AML cells to different therapeutics and genomic profiling to further characterize drug resistance and progression.

With the aide of Labcyte and their expertise in acoustic liquid handling, FIMM can test combinations of targeted therapeutics in a high throughput DSRT process that is cost effective. “Our collaboration with FIMM validates the liberating power of our technology,” declares Mark Fischer-Colbrie, CEO of Labcyte. “To see the exceptional performance and efficiency of Echo® liquid handlers accelerate programs that can directly impact patient lives is truly rewarding.”

FIMM’s novel approach to improve the predictability of drug response in cancer cells is encouraging. Their ISM strategy demonstrates the importance of DSRT and integrated genomic and molecular analysis. “It’s our hope that in the future the ISM strategy as well as the drug testing opportunity will be used to help patients and clinicians to administer available therapies better as well as to facilitate product development in the industry by predicting the likelihood of success in clinical trials,” says Olli Kallioniemi, Director of FIMM.

1Tea Pemovska, Mika Kontro, Bhagwan Yadav, et al., “Individualized Systems Medicine  strategy to tailor treatments for patients with chemorefractory acute myeloid leukemia,” Cancer Discovery, 2013, 3:1416-1429. http://cancerdiscovery.aacrjournals.org/content/3/12/1416.abstract

About Labcyte Inc.
Labcyte, a global biotechnology company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is revolutionizing liquid handling. Echo liquid handling systems use sound to precisely transfer liquids without contact, eliminating the use of pipettes. Labcyte instruments are used worldwide throughout the pharmaceutical industry, as well as by biotechnology firms, contract research organizations, and academic institutions. Our customers work across a wide spectrum of scientific research, including drug discovery, genomics, proteomics, diagnostics, personalized medicine, and imaging mass spectrometry. Labcyte has 53 US patents issued and associated internationally, along with additional filings. For more information, visit www.labcyte.com.

About FIMM:
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) is an international research institute in Helsinki focusing on human genomics and personalized medicine. FIMM is hosted by the University of Helsinki and is part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership in Molecular Medicine. FIMM integrates molecular medicine research, technology center and biobanking infrastructures “under one roof” and thereby promotes translational research and adoption of personalized medicine in health care. FIMM researchers are involved in studying the medical impact of genome information from the Finnish population, development of individualized cancer medicine, as well as novel image‐based molecular diagnostics. FIMM technology centre and biobanking infrastructures provide research services for local, national and international customers. The infrastructures operated by FIMM are networked with European ESFRI infrastructures BBMRI, EATRIS, ELIXIR and EU-OPENSCREEN. In 2012, FIMM had a staff of 185 and an annual budget of 14 million Euros, with competitive external funding accounting for 70% of the budget. For more information, visit www.fimm.fi/en/
 




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