Upstream Biosciences Inc. has announced that it has retained Genpathway, Inc. to conduct analysis using its highly sensitive chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. The analysis is intended to provide critical information for the next phase of Upstream’s program to validate its first two cancer biomarkers and drug response assay. Genpathway will apply its assays to help elucidate critical parameters involving specific gene transcription factors and pathways.
Upstream uses advanced data mining techniques to identify regulatory regions of the genome upstream of genes that are known to be involved in key disease and drug response processes. These regulatory regions function as ‘gene switches’ controlling the conditions under which a gene is activated, the number of copies of the gene that is produced and the proteins that the gene expresses.
Patients with cancer are believed to have characteristic genetic variations in these regulatory regions, and Upstream has identified specific genetic variations to use as diagnostic biomarkers for various forms of cancer. Upstream currently has five provisional patent filings covering the use of these genetic variations as cancer biomarkers.
“Advancing our drug response and cancer biomarker validation programs is a top priority for the company, so we are very pleased to be working with another leader in the field of chromatin immunoprecipitation, and DNA methylation assays,” said Upstream CEO Joel Bellenson. “This agreement with Genpathway builds on the important analytic work we already have underway with NimbleGen and may allow us to acquire in-depth information that is not available with other analytic methods.”
“We are excited to be working with Upstream Biosciences to enable the rapid progress of their programs to validate their proprietary prostate and liver cancer biomarker candidates and drug response assay,” said Mary Harper, Genpathway’s CSO.