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Exiqon Launches Two New Research Use Only Kits

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Exiqon A/S has launched the miRSIGN™ miR-21 Oncogene assay, a Research Use Only kit for measuring miR-21 levels in relation to two reference microRNAs in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples, and the miRSIGN™ Colon Cancer assay, a Research Use Only kit for determining the presence of cancer cells in FFPE colon tissue samples.

Recently published peer reviewed papers, Hansen et al. 2014, British J Can, and Nielsen et al 2011, Clin Exp Metast, have demonstrated that miR-21 in combination with traditional biomarkers may assist in the identification of stage II colon cancer patients at high risk of recurrence.

The majority of patients with stage II colon cancer are generally offered surgery but do not routinely receive adjuvant treatment. However, the disease recurs within two years for approximately 25% of the patients, and the ability to objectively identify these patients at the time of surgery may prove an important first step towards improving treatment.

In the aforementioned study, Hansen et al. 2014, of a cohort of 554 stage II colon cancer patients, the miRSIGN™ miR-21 Oncogene assay (RUO) was used to test miR-21 as an independent prognostic biomarker for recurrence free cancer specific survival.

This study demonstrated that high miR-21 expression levels are associated with an unfavourable recurrence free cancer specific survival, and suggested that including miR-21 in a risk index for stage II colon cancer patients may help to objectively identify a considerably smaller group of patients at high risk of recurrence (23% of the patients at high risk) than the traditional risk parameters (77% of the patients). Whether patients with elevated miR-21 expression may benefit from adjuvant therapy depends on separate clinical studies.

Both the miRSIGN™ miR-21 Oncogene Assay (RUO) and the miRSIGN ™ Colon Cancer assay (RUO) are based on the company’s proprietary miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR platform, which was recently reviewed in a study published in Nature Methods, Pieter Mestdagh et al., comparing the performance of 12 commercially available platforms for microRNA profiling in key areas: http://www.exiqon.com/mirqc.