REHOVOT, Israel and WOBURN, Mass., May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Rosetta Genomics Ltd. and U.S. Genomics Inc. announced today the signing of a discovery and co-development agreement for a microRNA-based, non-invasive early detection test for lung cancer. This collaboration combines U.S. Genomics' patented Trilogy(R) 2020 platform and Direct(TM) miRNA assay with Rosetta Genomics' proprietary microRNAs. By using Rosetta Genomics' newly discovered microRNAs as biomarkers, together with U.S. Genomics' patented technology for sensitive molecular-level detection and quantitation, the two companies are working to create a new molecular diagnostic test to accurately identify lung cancer using a sputum or blood sample. "This alliance is intended to expedite the development of next-generation molecular diagnostic tests to identify cancer," said Amir Avniel, CEO and president of Rosetta Genomics. "MicroRNAs hold great promise as biomarkers for several disease states, and we are very pleased to be working with U.S. Genomics to develop this new diagnostic tool for patients around the world." Approximately 30 million Americans are considered at high risk for lung cancer. Early stage detection and treatment of lung cancer can play a role in improving survival rates for patients. Currently available diagnostics for lung cancer, including chest imaging (X-ray or low-dose CT) and sputum cytology often lack the sensitivity and specificity necessary to identify early stage disease. As a result, early-stage lung cancer may go undiagnosed. In addition, some tests may lead to false-positive results that can put patients at risk for unnecessary and potentially harmful treatments. "U.S. Genomics is excited about working with Rosetta Genomics to develop a microRNA-based diagnostic test for the early detection of lung cancer," said John Canepa, CEO and president of U.S. Genomics. "Applying our Trilogy(R) 2020 single molecule detection platform and our Direct(TM) miRNA assays provide for best-in-class detection sensitivity of microRNAs without the inherent biases of amplification-based technologies. We are optimistic about combining these strengths with Rosetta Genomics' proprietary microRNAs to demonstrate the potential for a significantly more sensitive and accurate diagnostic test for this devastating disease." About Lung Cancer Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts approximately 174,500 new cases of lung cancer in 2006 and 162,500 lung cancer-associated deaths in the United States. Average five-year survival rates for patients diagnosed with lung cancer are less than 15%. Five year survival rates for patients with advanced stage IV lung cancer are only about 5%. The population at highest risk for lung cancer includes approximately 30 million men and women between the ages of 50 and 69 who are current or former smokers. About microRNAs MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are recently discovered, naturally occurring small RNAs that act as regulators of protein translation. Because many diseases are caused by the misregulated activity of proteins, the ability to selectively regulate protein activity through microRNAs could play a role in the treatment of many forms of cancer and other serious illnesses. In addition, microRNAs have been shown to have different expression levels in certain diseased versus normal tissues. As a result, microRNAs may also play a role in helping to identify and diagnose the stage of many diseases. About U.S. Genomics U.S. Genomics is pioneering single molecule biology technologies for life science and biodefense applications by combining advances in microfluidics, optics, engineering, and novel molecular labeling strategies. Using its DNA mapping technology, the Company is developing sophisticated biosensors for the detection and identification of pathogens and biomarkers in the air, human serum and other biologically relevant materials. The Company's biodefense focus on airborne pathogens has been funded in part by $26 million in contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Company's Trilogy(R) 2020 platform enables the direct detection and analysis of individual molecules of DNA, RNA, and proteins without the need for amplification. U.S. Genomics' portfolio of products will further a greater understanding of genetics and disease pathways and will ultimately lead to more effective therapeutics, diagnostics, and biodefense solutions. For more information about U.S. Genomics, please visit http://www.usgenomics.com. Trilogy(R) is a registered trademark and Direct(TM) (as in Direct miRNA) and U.S. Genomics(TM) are trademarks of U.S. Genomics, Inc. About Rosetta Genomics Rosetta Genomics is a leader in the development of microRNA-based diagnostics and therapeutics. Founded in 2000, the company's integrative research platform combining bioinformatics and state-of-the-art laboratory processes has led to the discovery of nearly 360 biologically validated novel human microRNAs. Building on its strong intellectual property position and strategic alliances with leading biotechnology companies, Rosetta Genomics is working to develop a full range of diagnostics and therapeutic products based on microRNAs. The company's primary therapeutic focus is in the development of microRNA-based products to diagnose and treat different forms of cancer.
SOURCE Rosetta Genomics Ltd.