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OGT Presents Promising Prostate Cancer Biomarker Panel Results at AACR

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Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has presented potentially significant, preliminary data on the development of a panel of biomarkers for the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

In the pilot study, a set of biomarkers was identified which can distinguish prostate cancer from control samples with both sensitivity and specificity above 90%, far higher than existing diagnostic tests. These data were presented at the Fourth American Association for Cancer Research International Conference: Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, in Denver on 27-30 September.

OGT has developed the Sense Proteomic™ “functional protein” array platform which uses over a thousand correctly folded proteins to detect autoantibodies in prostate cancer serum samples. Using leading-edge data analysis strategies, the company has identified panels of multiple biomarkers which may have clinical utility in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

In this new pilot study presented at the AACR conference, 73 prostate cancer and 60 control samples were used to identify a set of biomarkers which can distinguish prostate cancer from control samples with both sensitivity and specificity above 90% — well above the “standard” for PSA.

Welcoming this promising development, Dr John Anson, OGT’s Vice President of Biomarker Discovery, said: “These initial data are very satisfying, so much so that we have already instigated a major follow-on clinical study involving 1800 samples to further develop and validate the biomarker panel.”

The trial has been rigorously-designed, and as well as 400 prostate cancer samples and an equal number of matched normal samples, there are around 150 samples of other cancers and several hundred samples from patients shown to have other diseases of the prostate. The latter can present similar symptoms to prostate cancer and can, in many cases, raise PSA levels and trigger a biopsy. OGT expects its biomarker panel to discriminate between prostate cancer and these ‘interfering’ diseases.

Results from this follow-on study are due in the first half of 2011. “Based on these exciting results and the larger study,” Dr Anson continued “we are assessing partnership opportunities with diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies for the development of a diagnostic test. We are also exploring the extensive potential of our Sense Proteomic functional protein array technology for improving the diagnosis of other cancers and autoimmune diseases.”