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New England Peptide, ACRI Mark Next Step in Cancer Fight

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New England Peptide (NEP) and the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) have announced that they have jointly submitted a patent application for cancer-related peptide reagents which have the potential to lead in cancer diagnostics and more individualized therapies for cancer patients.

One of the hallmarks of cancer cells is their high propensity to “bud off” their cellular material into small particles called microvesicles and exosomes. These particles carry a variety of information about the parent cancer cell that recently has become a primary focus of research.

Early findings from cell cultures grown in the lab indicate vast potential, but in order to maximize the overall benefit, scientists need to use cells from real life samples.

While this has previously proven to be difficult, the reagents developed by NEP and ACRI will allow real life samples to be used in a simple and economical manner for the first time.

“With these peptides we are able to capture circulating microvesicles and exosomes intact from a variety of body fluids,” said Dr. Steve Griffiths, researcher at ACRI and co-inventor of the new peptides. “Existing methods give comparatively lower yields and thus present missed opportunities for detection and characterization.”

“The mRNA, miRNA, and protein information found in microvesicles and exosomes thus far have already revealed known cancer bio-markers,” said co-inventor Scott Lewis, Director, Antibody Division at NEP.

Lewis continued, “Further research enabled by these reagents will be extremely useful in creating profiles of specific cancer types, as well as providing insight into how and why some cancers progress into being lethal and others do not.”

“Further research and formulation is still required, but our vision is very much focused on releasing these peptides as products in a variety of formats in the coming years,” said Dave Robinson, NEP’s CEO.

Robinson continued, “We are excited to directly participate in contributing to improvements in detection and diagnoses of cancer, which will lead to better personalized medicine for treatment.”

“This is an ideal partnership for ACRI,” said Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director at ACRI. “We are very pleased to be working with a commercial partner with whom we can commercialize our discoveries and transfer scientific innovations towards patient care.”