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Rosetta Genomics and the Institute of Molecular Translational Medicine Partner on Development of Thyroid Cancer Diagnostic

publication date: Nov 12, 2014
author/source: Rosetta Genomics Ltd

EATRIS Developed Collaboration to Accelerate the Validation of New Thyroid Cancer Diagnostic

Rosetta GenomicsRosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), a leading developer and provider of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, announces the initiation by the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), of a new public-private translational research project between Rosetta Genomics and the Institute of Molecular Translational Medicine (IMTM) at Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.  The new partnership will work towards the validation and development of a new thyroid cancer diagnostic tool.

The partnership was facilitated by EATRIS’ new business model that brings together private industry and academia, and is the result of a partnering meeting held at the BIO USA 2014 convention in San Diego, California.

Under this EATRIS private-public arrangement, the partners will work towards improving the diagnosis of malignant tumours in suspected thyroid cancer patients by connecting the expertise and clinical samples available at IMTM with the microRNA platform technology and product development expertise of Rosetta Genomics. 

An estimated 4% to 7% of the general population develops nodules in the thyroid that can be felt on examination, though fewer than 10% are malignant. Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) to obtain tissue for analysis is the standard technique for detecting cancer. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 FNAs are performed each year in the U.S. and approximately 740,000 are performed annually in Europe. Interpretation of FNA samples is not always straightforward, leading to an indeterminate result in up to 30% of the samples. Many patients with indeterminate results are sent to surgery as a precaution, despite the fact that the majority of these cases are benign.  This exposes patients to unnecessary surgical risk and costs the system hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prof. Marian Hajduch, M.D., Director at IMTM, commented, “This collaboration with Rosetta Genomics is significant for IMTM and for the field of translational research. By utilizing our translational expertise and clinical samples in collaboration with Rosetta’s proven product development capabilities, we hope to expedite the development of a high-value thyroid cancer diagnostic.  We are delighted to be a part of this novel way of working with industry through the EATRIS infrastructure.”

“Our initial studies have demonstrated that microRNA expression levels can differentiate malignant nodules from benign nodules, and also demonstrated the ability to extract and profile microRNAs from thyroid FNAs.  The access to IMTM’s thyroid cancer samples and translation research should enhance and accelerate the larger validating studies we have underway, as we plan for a third quarter 2015  launch of our thyroid assay in the U.S.,” stated Kenneth A. Berlin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Genomics.  “This partnership represents a good opportunity to work with distinguished partners on a high-value thyroid diagnostic. We have been pleased with our interactions with EATRIS and impressed with their smooth and efficient international collaboration process.”

“This partnership is a prime example of how EATRIS is paving the way to improved product development by facilitating collaborations that combine access to innovative translational research infrastructure and industry expertise. This is a great time to be part of EATRIS as patient outcomes are within reach,” noted Anton Ussi, Head of Operations at EATRIS. 

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