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Exosome Diagnostics, Lilly pair up
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


NEW YORK—Exosome Diagnostics and Eli Lilly and Co. have struck a collaboration agreement to discover and validate biomarkers using Exosome Diagnostics' proprietary EXO50 nucleic acid extraction kit. Per the terms of the agreement, Lilly will be granted early access to Exosome Diagnostics technology to aid in the identification of key gene mutations and expression levels in blood that may be linked to drug response and disease recurrence. No financial terms for the agreement were disclosed.  
"Accessing high-quality messenger and microRNA directly from frozen patient fluid samples offers a rapid, cost-effective route to identify and validate biomarkers, which may be correlated with drug response and disease recurrence," James McCullough, CEO of Exosome Diagnostics, commented in a statement. "Lilly has accumulated an extensive and well-annotated clinical blood sample biobank that provides a unique opportunity to track target biomarkers through the clinical trial process and help overcome the limitations of stored biopsy tissue."  
Exosomes are vesicles secreted by all cells into all biofluids, such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid and urine, and they provide a natural packaging and distribution mechanism for DNA and RNA. Exosome Diagnostics' rapid exosome isolation and extraction technology yields high-quality DNA and RNA, including full-length mRNA and microRNA from small amounts of patient biofluids for analysis via PCR, array and sequencing instruments. Analysis can be done with fresh or frozen samples, in real-time and retrospectively, and no special preservation methods are required.
"Exosome Diagnostics technology may provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the biology of complex conditions such as cancer and immune disorders," Andrew Schade, senior medical director of diagnostic and experimental pathology at Lilly, said in a press release. "Exosome technology enables biofluid molecular sampling and the ability to monitor disease progression in real time. As Lilly explores new ways to pursue patient tailoring, we'll continue to work with partners to expand our capabilities."  
This represents the third agreement for Exosome Diagnostics in as many months. In July, the company signed an agreement with QIAGEN to develop and commercialize high-performance, co-branded kit products for capturing and processing RNA and DNA from biofluid exosomes and other microvesicles. No financial terms were disclosed, but the companies are aiming to launch their first products in the first half of next year. Last month Exosome Diagnostics announced a collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to research and develop real-time nucleic acid-based body-fluid diagnostics for personalized medicine. Per the agreement, Exosome will provide Mount Sinai researchers with technical and development support as well as early access to proprietary technology products upgrades.  
SOURCE: Exosome Diagnostics press release
Code: E09181301



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