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Thermo Fisher Scientific, GMU, Johns Hopkins and Toronto’s UHN Extend Collaboration

Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
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Accelerating biomarker identification for cancer and other diseases may speed development of diagnostic tests that enable earlier disease detection.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has announced that its Biomarker Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry (BRIMS) Center has extended its groundbreaking collaboration with George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM), Johns Hopkins University and Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN).

For the past two years, these organizations have collaborated with BRIMS to accelerate the verification and validation of protein biomarkers for cancer and other diseases.

For years, biomarker researchers sought independent validation of putative biomarkers and routine, mass spectrometry-based quantitative assays suited for the rigors of clinical research.

Thermo Fisher’s BRIMS Center addressed these challenges by developing targeted SRM-based quantitative mass spectrometry workflows that enable rapid assay development and cross validation of biomarker assays across the network of laboratories. Each of the collaborators uses these biomarkers and assays as they perform research on identical Thermo Scientific TSQ Quantum Ultra triple quadrupole mass spectrometer platforms.  

“Working together, the BRIMS Center and the collaborators demonstrated an instrument platform and an end-to-end workflow from sample preparation through data analysis that are easily and reproducibly transferred from laboratory to laboratory,” said Mary Lopez, director, BRIMS Center. “By continuing our work with these leading research groups, we can extend their ground-breaking research by continuing to apply the SRM-based workflow to previously validated clinical biomarkers.”

“Together, we’ve taken a remarkable step forward by combining the BRIMS Center’s expertise in workflow development, state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific technologies and the talent of leading researchers with valuable clinical expertise,” said Iain Mylchreest, vice president and general manager, life science mass spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “By delivering reproducible, quantitative verification and validation of protein biomarkers in a clinical research setting, the researchers are now that much closer to their goal of developing tests for cancer.”

Members of the collaboration team presented their results, an inter-lab reproducibility study, at the U.S. Human Proteome Organization 2010 meeting, March 7-10, in Denver, Colorado.

The study is the first inter-lab study to demonstrate reproducible determination of protein abundance in a complex matrix such as blood. The study also demonstrated that an optimized biomarker assay can be implemented relatively quickly across several laboratories without need for additional optimization.

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