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Cleveland Clinic Recognizes Circulating Tumor Cell Technology as Top Medical Innovation for 2009

RARITAN, N.J., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Veridex, LLC announced today that the technology used in the CellSearch(R) System to measure circulating tumor cells (CTCs) was ranked as the top medical innovation for 2009 by the Cleveland Clinic, a leading multispecialty academic medical center. The ranking is based on technologies likely to have a significant impact on health care next year.

The prestigious annual recognition follows a rigorous selection process by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians. The list was announced today at the Cleveland Clinic's 2008 Innovation Summit.

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"We are deeply gratified by this recognition from the Cleveland Clinic," said Robert McCormack, Ph.D., Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Veridex. "Our entire team is committed to the research and development of this technology, and our goal with the CellSearch(R) test is to provide patients and doctors with reliable and timely information about cancer progression."

CellSearch(R), a proprietary Veridex technology, is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to predict progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancer. The test can be used at any time during the course of disease for serial monitoring of patients with these types of cancer. The CellSearch(R) System is also available as a diagnostic test in Europe.

The CellSearch(R) System is the first diagnostic test to automate the capture and detection of tumor cells that have detached from solid tumors and entered the patient's blood. With the CellSearch(R) System, it is possible to reproducibly find a single circulating tumor cell among approximately 40 billion blood cells in a 7.5 mL blood sample.

The ability to identify a single cancer cell through this innovative technology provides physicians with an important measure of a patient's disease prognosis to help them make more informed patient care decisions. Dr. Mark Graham, a practicing oncologist from Waverly Hematology Oncology in Cary, North Carolina, has used CellSearch(R) for the past two years to regularly monitor the prognosis of his population of metastatic breast cancer patients.

"Knowing a patient's CTC count provides a second measurement, complementary to traditional imaging, to help me assess the prognosis of a patient and gauge her response to current treatment. This allows my team to better advise patients of their current status and make more informed treatment decisions. Many of my patients find that the CellSearch(R) CTC test allows them to continue their daily activities with the peace of mind that I am closely monitoring their disease and will be able to adjust their treatment in a timely fashion, if necessary," says Dr. Graham.

Dr. Graham adds, "Our general impression is that the CellSearch(R) test has allowed us to do fewer radiology imaging studies, which can reduce cost, lessen radiation exposure and save valuable time for the patient."

Last year, another Veridex diagnostic test, the GeneSearch(TM) Breast Lymph Node Assay, was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the top medical breakthroughs of 2007. This assay is a diagnostic test indicated to detect lymph node metastases in breast cancer.

About CellSearch(R)

The CellSearch(R) test works by using antibodies that are joined to microscopic iron particles, called ferrofluid. These antibody/ferrofluid combinations attach very specifically to CTCs. Powerful magnets then draw the CTCs out of the blood sample and they are then stained with additional bio-molecules and chemicals so that they can be positively identified as CTCs.

About Veridex, LLC

Veridex, LLC, a Johnson & Johnson company, is an organization dedicated to providing physicians with high-value in vitro diagnostic oncology products. Veridex's products may significantly benefit patients through earlier disease detection and may enable personalized strategies to help improve patient management and outcomes. For more information, visit

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