SUNNYVALE, Calif. & HELSINKI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Labcyte Inc. and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) of the University of Helsinki, announced today the extension of a collaboration that began in 2013 centering on the use of Labcyte’s Echo® liquid handlers for new personalized medicine strategies to treat cancer patients.
FIMM has published several journal articles since the start of their collaboration with Labcyte, most recently in Nature and in the Blood Cancer Journal. Each highlights the success of their Individualized Systems Medicine program, which leverages Labcyte products for high-throughput drug sensitivity and resistance testing. Out of this program, FIMM has already identified commercially available drugs that can be repurposed as treatments for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) – one of which is now entering clinical testing. FIMM is also exploring the use of this approach to study solid tumors such as ovarian cancer and urological cancers.
Labcyte’s acoustic liquid handling technology uses sound energy to transfer reagents in a manner that has proven to deliver faster and more accurate results than traditional methods, while enabling entirely new capabilities. FIMM’s Individualized Systems Medicine strategy leverages the unique capabilities of Labcyte’s Echo liquid handler and Access™ Workstation.
“The Echo liquid handlers have been essential to pushing forward with multiple programs at FIMM, the biggest being our personalized cancer treatment program, which is totally reliant on having acoustic dispensers,” said Krister Wennerberg, FIMM-EMBL Group Leader and Head of the High Throughput Biomedicine Unit at FIMM.
Through the expanded collaboration, FIMM’s High Throughput Biomedicine unit will apply the newest capabilities of Labcyte’s liquid handlers in genomic and proteomic applications downstream of drug sensitivity testing. The Echo liquid handler will be integrated into a wide range of workflows, including the development and implementation of high-content screening, reverse-phase protein arrays, next-generation genome sequencing, RNA-sequencing, high-throughput gene expression and genotyping.
“FIMM has demonstrated an effective model for personalized cancer treatment, and other cancer centers are following their innovative approach in this new era of personalized medicine,” said Mark Fischer-Colbrie, CEO of Labcyte. “It is extremely gratifying to be a part of this process and to see our unique technology making such an impact on patients’ lives.”
As described in the Nature paper, the institute’s researchers, along with other scientists, identified a previously unrecognized action of axitinib as a potent inhibitor of a mutation that confers drug resistance to patients with BCR-ABL driven leukemia. As a result, this renal cancer drug may be repurposed, potentially providing another viable treatment option for patients with drug resistant leukemia.
Professor Olli Kallioniemi, director of FIMM commented: “We have been extremely happy with the progress of our collaboration with Labcyte, and are looking forward to continuing to push our Individualized Systems Medicine program towards applications in solid tumors.”
About Labcyte Inc.
Labcyte, a global biotechnology tools company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, is revolutionizing liquid handling. Echo liquid handling systems use sound to precisely transfer liquids without contact, eliminating the use of pipettes. Labcyte instruments are used worldwide throughout the pharmaceutical industry, as well as by biotechnology companies, contract research organizations, and academic institutions. Our customers work across a wide spectrum of scientific research, including drug discovery, genomics, proteomics, diagnostics and personalized medicine. Labcyte has 55 U.S. patents and others internationally. For more information, visit www.labcyte.com.
Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) is an international research institute in Helsinki focusing on human genomics and personalized medicine. FIMM is hosted by the University of Helsinki and is part of the Nordic EMBL Partnership in Molecular Medicine as well as the EU-Life network. FIMM integrates molecular medicine research, technology center and biobanking infrastructures “under one roof” and thereby promotes translational research and adoption of personalized medicine in health care. In 2014, FIMM had a staff of 200 and an annual budget of 15.4 million €, with competitive external funding accounting for 54% of the budget. For more information, visit www.fimm.fi/en/.