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1 November, 2018 - 12:26 By Tony Quested

Horizon Discovery the power behind the throne of new cancer test

Horizon Discovery Cambridge

Cambridge UK gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery has emerged as the power behind the throne of a significant new cancer test unveiled by quoted Belgian business Biocartis in Texas today.

Horizon has partnered with Biocartis to provide reference standards for the client’s recently launched Idylla™ microsatellite instability assay. It is the first commercially available reference standard for microsatellite instability (MSI) testing.

Horizon Discovery’s reference material covers seven new MSI markers tested for on the Idylla™ platform; MSI is a form of genetic instability predominantly found in colorectal, gastric and endometrial cancer and serves as a prognostic, diagnostic and predictive marker in the clinic.

Biocartis paraded the full power of the technology with the publication of eight Idylla™ performance study abstracts at the Association for Molecular Pathology (‘AMP’) conference in San Antonio, starting today.

Scene of The Alamo, San Antonio is battle hardened and no fight is surely more decisive than the intensifying war against killer cancers.

Biocarta’s studies are being performed by renowned US oncology key opinion leaders from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York), Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center (New Hampshire), Cambridge’s own AstraZeneca and the University of Alabama. 

All abstracts again highlight excellent Idylla™ performance, showing high concordance with current testing methods in combination with the unique features of the Idylla™ platform, being its ease of use, fully automated workflow and short turnaround times.

Horizon Discovery developed a set of precisely defined cell line-derived reference standards to support the Idylla™ MSI assay.

The Idylla™ MSI Assay (RUO) allows for qualitative detection of a novel panel of seven monomorphic homopolymer biomarkers to identify human cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI), in a fully automated manner. 

The assay uses formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections from human cancer tissue, from which nucleic acids are extracted, amplified and then analysed. Horizon’s newly developed MSI FFPE reference standards enable validation and routine monitoring of MSI testing on the Idylla™ platform.

Dr Chris Lowe, head of Research Operations, Horizon Discovery, said: “Horizon pioneered the development of genetically defined, well-characterised cell line derived reference standards, and this collaboration with Biocartis further validates our position as the leader in the field. 

“Our teams are continually innovating to expand this range and we are proud to offer a sustainable source of reference material to support accurate assay results when examining MSI on the Idylla™ platform.”

Erwin Sablon, VP Alliance Management & Partnerships of Biocartis, added: “The collaboration between Biocartis and Horizon has contributed greatly to the successful market launch of the Idylla™ MSI Assay in July. We continue to be impressed with the quality of Horizon’s reference standards.”

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