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A fine molecular pairing
VENLO, The Netherlands—In an effort to support research focused on discovering molecular biomarkers capable of helping diagnose breast cancer and other women's health issues, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based the Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) recently outlined the formation of a collaborative effort with its affiliates and QIAGEN NV.
At the center of the collaboration is the CMM's access to clinical samples, its molecular analysis capabilities as well as XenoBase, a one-of-a-kind software and database system developed at the Van Andel Research Institute. This specialized bioinformatics system is capable of analyzing a wide range of molecular and conventional clinical data to help researchers identify clinically actionable associations between diseases, biomarkers and treatments.
XenoBase is the result of more than five years of work by Craig Webb, Ph.D. and Jeremy Miller, Ph.D., of the Van Andel Research Institute, a co-founding joint venture partner of CMM. Based on the result of QIAGEN's initial research, the CMM may also provide laboratory-based genomics and proteomics services to assist QIAGEN in the development and validation of new molecular diagnostic tests.
The CMM's unique capabilities, including XenoBase access, on-site microarray-based DNA typing and gene expression profiling, played a vital role in bringing QIAGEN to West Michigan, as did the capabilities of CMM joint venture partners the Van Andel Institute and Spectrum Health.
"CMM is pleased that QIAGEN, a global leader in molecular diagnostics, recognizes the value of software-driven biomarker research and how advanced the resources in West Michigan truly are in this rapidly emerging field," says Daniel H. Farkas, Ph.D., executive director of CMM. "The speed and analytical depth of XenoBase coupled with the CMM's access to clinical samples can give QIAGEN a competitive advantage in the development of new molecular diagnostic tests, especially in the field of oncology. [We are] pleased to be the focal point for a West Michigan/QIAGEN partnership."
"We are impressed by the capabilities that CMM has assembled and the commitment of CMM and its supporters. We look forward to working with this prestigious center to develop next-generation molecular markers for our long-term pipeline," says Dr. Joachim Schorr, senior vice president of global R&D for QIAGEN.
"The relationship between CMM and QIAGEN hopefully represents the beginnings of a molecular diagnostic pipeline that can establish an accelerated means to introduce biomarkers into medical practice," adds Craig Webb, Ph.D., director of the Program of Translational Medicine at the Van Andel Institute.