This historic alliance is expected to offer transformative new empowerment to cancer research worldwide, by integrating the latest enabling technologies in capturing, isolating, and preparing precious biopsy samples for superior analysis of relevant biomarkers of disease state and treatment response.
Leica Microsystems (“Leica”) is a leading global designer and producer of innovative high-tech precision optical systems for the analysis of microstructures. It is one of the market leaders in microscopy, pathology, diagnostics, and surgical microscopes. Users of Leica’s instruments and services can be found in both clinical applications and broader life science research, several surgical specialties, disciplines associated with material sciences, the manufacturing industry, forensics services, and in classrooms around the world. Leica is a Danaher company.
PBI and Leica will co-market a novel, enabling technology platform that combines the Leica Laser Microdissection (LMD) System for precise excision of specific, minute sections of biopsy tissue with PBI’s Pressure Cycling Technology (“PCT”)-based Barocycler System for rapid protein extraction and digestion for sample preparation prior to mass spectrometry analysis. Specifically, both companies will promote an integrated biomarker discovery workflow designed to quickly and efficiently collect tissue sections excised by the Leica LMD and then drop the samples into PBI’s consumable MicroTubes for rapid PCT processing. Proteins are then analyzed by mass spectrometry (MS), the global method-of-choice for high throughput, and comprehensive protein analysis.
The integrated workflow of LMD and PCT was developed by Dr. Thomas P. Conrads, a nationally acclaimed protein chemist. Dr. Conrads is the Senior Director of Women’s Health Research in the Inova Women’s Service Line; he is also Chief Scientific Officer of the Women’s Health Integrated Research Center (WHIRC) at Inova Health System.
Dr. Conrads said: “We believe that integrating LMD, PCT, and MS will improve our understanding of the complex tissue microenvironment and better enable identification of new biomarkers. We believe that the insights gained from applying this novel workflow will result in significant improvements in the clinical management of gynecologic and other cancers.”
The global cancer biomarker market is expected to reach $136.5 billion by 2023.
Ms. Roxana McCloskey, PBI’s Global Director of Sales & Marketing, said: “The generation of reliable and reproducible data from biopsy samples is difficult, as it requires the integration of multiple and varied laboratory processes, particularly tissue extraction, sample preparation, and analysis. The innovative LMD-PCT workflow enables the reproducible and rapid extraction of proteins from precious clinical samples by combining the precision of the Leica LMD system with PBI’s versatile PCT sample preparation platform. The ability to co-market the workflow offers the opportunity for the combined sales and marketing forces of Leica and PBI to extend the integrated LMD-PCT systems into additional research centers globally that are focused on clinical proteomics, cancer research, biomarker discovery, and precision medicine.”
Dr. Falk Schlaudraff, Head of Application Management of Leica Microsystems, commented: “Biomarkers can be used as indicators of certain diseases, such as cancer. They also improve our understanding of the complex tumor microenvironment. There are distinct molecular differences between tumor and non-tumor regions, as well as in the tumor itself. These critical differences can only be deciphered by isolating specific, minute sections of these regions. The combined LMD and PCT systems allow for this separation with high accuracy and speed. Downstream molecular analysis of the different regions will be meaningful since they can be analyzed separately and not as a mixture. We are very excited to combine our LMD system with the power of PCT.”
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