The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) has announced the formation of a collaborative effort with its affiliates and QIAGEN NV to support research focused on discovering molecular biomarkers capable of helping diagnose breast cancer and other women's health issues. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
At the center of the collaboration is the CMM's access to clinical samples, its molecular analysis capabilities as well as XenoBase, a one-of-a-kind software and database system developed at the Van Andel Research Institute. This specialized bio-informatic system is capable of analyzing a wide range of molecular and conventional clinical data to help researchers identify clinically actionable associations between diseases, biomarkers and treatments.
XenoBase is the result of more than five years of work by Craig Webb, Ph.D. and Jeremy Miller, Ph.D., of the Van Andel Research Institute, a co-founding joint venture partner of CMM. Based on the result of QIAGEN's initial research, the CMM may also provide laboratory-based genomics and proteomics services to assist QIAGEN in the development and validation of new molecular diagnostic tests.
The CMM's capabilities, including XenoBase access, on-site microarray-based DNA typing and gene expression profiling, played a vital role in bringing QIAGEN to West Michigan, as did the capabilities of CMM joint venture partners the Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health.
"CMM is pleased that QIAGEN, a global leader in molecular diagnostics, recognizes the value of software-driven biomarker research and how advanced the resources in West Michigan truly are in this rapidly emerging field," said Daniel H. Farkas, PhD, Executive Director of CMM.
"The speed and analytical depth of XenoBase coupled with the CMM's access to clinical samples can give QIAGEN a competitive advantage in the development of new molecular diagnostic tests, especially in the field of oncology. The CMM is pleased to be the focal point for a West Michigan/QIAGEN partnership and is ready to support the genomic- and proteomic-based laboratory work that will surely follow."
We are impressed by the capabilities that CMM has assembled and the commitment of CMM and its supporters. We look forward to working with this prestigious center to develop next-generation molecular markers for our long-term pipeline," said Dr. Joachim Schorr, Senior VP of Global Research and Development, QIAGEN.
"We are delighted to enter into an agreement with QIAGEN to demonstrate the efficiency of the XenoBase technology in creating predictive algorithms for molecular diagnostic applications," said Craig Webb, PhD, Director of the Program of Translational Medicine at the Van Andel Institute. "The relationship between CMM and QIAGEN hopefully represents the beginnings of a molecular diagnostic pipeline that can establish an accelerated means to introduce biomarkers into medical practice."