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Preferred tox partner
January 2015
by Ilene Schneider  |  Email the author
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DUNDEE, U.K.—MicroMatrices, a service provider specializing in high-resolution cell type-specific analysis to characterize toxicological responses in different cell types in tissue, has entered a preferred partnership agreement with Advanced Cell Diagnostics Inc. (ACD), a leader in the field of molecular pathology and developer of cell- and tissue-based analysis tools.
 
MicroMatrices solves molecular toxicological problems using visualization and localization technologies, adding resolving power to standard methodologies. The company specializes in immunohistochemistry staining and has recently become expert in the use of ACD’s RNAscope technology to detect RNA based biomarkers in situ. According to the companies, this has resulted in expertise in combined protein/RNA co- detection and co-localization to offer clients an exceptional target visualization capacity that can guide and/or corroborate mechanistic and mode of action studies. In recognition of MicroMatrices’ extensive experience in applying RNAscope in preclinical toxicology investigations for safety and efficacy, ACD has begun a preferred partnership program for the provision and/or development of preclinical applications of RNAscope Technology.
 
ACD and MicroMatrices first met in 2012 at the Society for Toxicology (SOT) meeting in San Francisco, when both companies were within their first one or two years of operation. When Simon Plummer, managing director of MicroMatrices, visited the ACD exhibition at the SOT ToxExpo, he “quickly recognized the power of ACD’s RNAscope technology and saw how it could significantly enhance existing visualization technologies used in preclinical toxicology investigations.”
 
As Plummer explains, “Over the past two years, this early assessment has been proven to be correct. RNAscope technology has played a central role in the services MicroMatrices offers to its clients in the chemical/pharmaceutical industries and has helped to guide and/or corroborate many significant mechanistic and mode of action studies, as well as aid target validation.”
 
He adds, “The power and versatility of RNAscope has been an invaluable tool to enable us to solve mode of action/efficacy/toxicity challenges for our clients in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and chemical industries. We are delighted to be partnering with ACD to promote the wider application of RNAscope technology in preclinical safety/drug development problem solving for our collaborators.”
 
The preferred partnership between the two companies has been established as a practical and reciprocal marketing strategy that enables ACD to add value to its product portfolio by linking with MicroMatrices, a company that has extensive experience in applying RNAscope within preclinical toxicological investigations. Likewise, the partnership with ACD will raise awareness within a wider customer base of the powerful, innovative investigative approaches to safety/efficacy questions MicroMatrices can offer, according to Plummer.
 
ACD’s RNAscope assays represent a major technological advance for in-situ RNA detection. For the first time, the company says, robust single RNA molecule detection is available for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, offering quantitative molecular detection with morphological context in a single assay. Since their commercialization three years ago, these assays have been adopted across the globe by major pharma biotech companies and leading research institutions for drug discovery, translational research and the development of clinical and companion diagnostic tests.
 
According to Barry Lynch, regional sales director at ACD, “Essentially MicroMatrices, through its partner Aquila Histoplex, will be able to provide preclinical applications of RNAscope to clients seeking to assess mechanistic and mode of action studies, as well as aid target validation.”
 
“ACD has established high-quality performance standards through RNAscope products and services, and MicroMatrices is known for quality, service and expertise in the drug development community,” according to Dr. Steve Chen, chief operating officer of ACD. “As ACD’s install base is growing very rapidly in Europe, MicroMatrices is an ideal partner not only to extend our reach but also to solidify our commitment in service quality.”
 
Both companies say that the partnership is open-ended. Plummer believes that there is commercial potential for both companies in the partnership: ACD should tap into new markets as its technologies are taken up for use in preclinical safety applications, and MicroMatrices stands to benefit by virtue of the recognition offered to its track record/expertise in executing these applications, which it can offer to new clients on either a contract or consultancy basis.
 
Code: E011508

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