Rosetta Genomics and Columbia University Medical Center to Develop MicroRNA-based Diagnostics for Leukemia and Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
News Dec 18, 2007
Rosetta Genomics, Ltd. and Columbia University Medical Center have announced they will collaborate to develop microRNA-based diagnostic tests, early detection as well as prognosis, for Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma, Transformed Follicular Lymphoma, and for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Three types of Non- Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).
"We are constantly expanding our pipeline with new diagnostic and therapeutic programs, both cancer and non-cancer related, in order to maximize our leading position in microRNA intellectual property and proprietary technologies", noted Amir Avniel, President and CEO of Rosetta Genomics.
"We are very excited to be collaborating with a leading research institution such as Columbia University Medical Center, and hope more collaboration will follow."
Combining Rosetta Genomics know-how and proprietary technologies with Columbia University Medical Center's expertise in cancer, researchers will screen for microRNAs that may be used as potential biomarkers and drug targets for these NHL indications.
Diffuse Large Cell Lymphoma (DLCL) and Transformed Follicular Lymphoma are the two most common types of NHL, accounting for approximately 45 percent of all new non NHL cases.
"MicroRNAs perform their regulatory function on key cellular processes further up-stream than other currently used biomarkers," explained Dr. Riccardo Dalla-Favera, professor of Pathology, director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center.
"This is most likely the reason why they are proving to be such good biomarkers. The technologies developed through our collaboration with Rosetta Genomics are very sensitive. Our hope is that by working together, we can continue to take important steps toward better diagnostic tests for cancer patients," Dr. Riccardo added.
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.