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Press Release: Abnova and Clearbridge BioMedics Accelerate Circulating Tumor Cell System into the Research and In Vitro Diagnostic Markets

Press Release: Abnova and Clearbridge BioMedics Accelerate Circulating Tumor Cell System into the Research and In Vitro Diagnostic Markets

Abnova and Clearbridge BioMedics Accelerate Circulating Tumor Cell System into the Research and In Vitro Diagnostic Markets

Neihu, Taiwan and Singapore (8 September, 2011)

Clearbridge BioMedics announced today a collaboration, to jointly develop a revolutionary platform that provides a next generation, non-invasive “liquid biopsy” for cancer screening, staging, treatment, and monitoring. Through this collaboration, Abnova will leverage upon Clearbridge BioMedics’ core ClearCell™ CTChip®, which is an advanced microfiltration system for the isolation, enumeration, and retrieval of viable circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood. Abnova will then incorporate its proprietary antibody reagents both research-grade antibody reagents and GMP clinical-grade antibodies, to enable the accurate diagnosis of specific medical conditions or diseases.

The new Abnova-Clearbridge BioMedics device provides a powerful adjunctive tool for the traditional yet more technique-demanding and invasive tissue biopsy for cancer staging. Abnova will be responsible for registering and marketing this device globally and is targeting to introduce this new system into the research market in October 2011 and in vitro diagnostic market by 2012.

The metastatic breast, colon and prostate cancers screening and monitoring market is estimated to be more than USD 1 billion. Other screening technologies use more complicated and harsher techniques, as well as general surface biomarkers to capture the tumor cells. These methods irreversibly damage the CTCs and prevent their retrieval in native state. In contrast, Clearbridge BioMedics’ proprietary ClearCell™ System and CTChip® utilizes microfluidics technology and a myriad of crescent-shaped microwells to capture CTCs, with minimal damage. This enables subsequent cell retrieval and staining via monoclonal antibody downstream.

The new Abnova-Clearbridge BioMedics device will facilitate market penetration and greater applications of CTCs. It bridges the gap between clinical research involving the use of a large repertoire of research antibodies for testing and biomarker discovery, and clinical studies that mandate the use of more regulated analyte specific reagents (ASR) antibodies. This new Abnova-Clearbridge BioMedics device, once validated could be deployed in large-scale clinical trials. This will play a key role in helping novel disease-specific biomarkers for new CTC applications to be efficiently developed and commercialized.

“CTCs represent one of three important pillars of system integration for Abnova in the hierarchical organization and interrogation of tissue, cell, and protein,” said Dr. Wilber Huang, President and CEO of Abnova. “Clearbridge BioMedics has elegantly engineered a breakthrough CTC platform, which is unmatched by the competitors, specifically the ability to preserve cell viability after isolation. Up until now, the access to tissue samples is confined to the initial biopsy for diagnosis and staging workup followed by pathological confirmation of resected tissues. The opportunity for non-invasive “liquid biopsy” has tremendous potential in disease management, especially in molecular staging, personalized therapy and recurrence monitoring. Abnova has a plethora of research antibodies and FISH probes to catapult the research market, in addition to a full pipeline of novel IVD biomarkers under development, which are applicable to CTC platform including prostate, ovarian, and lung cancers. 

“Our ClearCell™ CTChip® platform empowers researchers, physicians and patients in the rapidly evolving translational research and medical communities,” stated Johnson Chen, Managing Director of Clearbridge BioMedics. “By working with Abnova, we have the opportunity to quickly deploy our breakthrough platform across a wide spectrum of translational research and clinical research settings. With Abnova’s capabilities to efficiently convert monoclonal antibody reagents from a research-grade into an IVD-grade reagent, this new device provides a seamless transition for clinical investigators developing the next generation of biomarkers for early disease diagnosis, prognosis, and companion diagnostic to personalized therapy. Both Abnova and Clearbridge BioMedics will be leveraging each other’s strength and expertise, with a common goal to set a new standard for the CTC industry.”


About Clearbridge BioMedics

Clearbridge BioMedics specializes in novel platforms with applications in oncology research and diagnostics. It is a National University of Singapore (NUS) spinoff company, that is committed to developing medical devices, which will impact the world and revolutionize cancer diagnostics and patient care, by leveraging on ground-breaking technology from research partners. The ClearCell™ System comprises patent-pending CTChips®, which are able to effectively detect and isolate wholly-intact CTCs (Circulating Tumor Cells) from small quantities of patient blood samples. The isolated CTCs can then be stained directly on the CTChips® for identification and enumeration, or retrieved for further molecular analysis. The ClearCell™ System aims to be the next generation of non-invasive “liquid biopsy” approach for cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, personalised medication, and treatment monitoring. Headquartered in Singapore, Clearbridge BioMedics currently has customers spanning Asia, Europe and North America. (www.clearbridgebiomedics.com )

About Abnova

Abnova is a biotech company specializing in high throughput monoclonal antibody production. The infrastructure Abnova has developed is a unique combination of world-class technologies and management experience of the IT industry in Taiwan. The company has vastly expanded the scope and availability of bio-tools reagents by taking a genome-wide approach to the production of human recombinant protein and antibody. Abnova has developed a portfolio of integrated and system applications including antibody pairs, ELISA kits, assays, and FISH probes which are essential to the biomarker discovery and translational research institutes. Abnova also has in vitro diagnostic programs focusing on diabetes, infection, and cancer, and fully human antibody therapeutic for the treatment of sepsis. (www.abnova.com )
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