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DiaTech Life Sciences Announces Medical Advisory Board

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- DiaTech Life Sciences has announced the formation of a Medical Advisory Council to advance the use of the Microculture Kinetic (MiCK) assay for apoptosis, a new assay designed to predict which chemotherapy is most effective for cancer patients. DiaTech has introduced this technology for individual patient testing and recently developed a model to assist pharmaceutical companies in validating new drugs that may be more effective.

Franklyn G. Prendergast M.D., Ph.D., will lead the Advisory Board. Dr. Prendergast obtained his medical degree (with honors) from University of the West Indies in 1968, his BA and MA in Physiology from the University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Mayo Graduate School/University of Minnesota. He has been on staff of the Mayo Clinic since 1977 and has served in many scientific and administrative capacities there, most notably: Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Mayo Clinic Rochester Board of Governors; Mayo Clinic Board of Governors; Mayo Foundation's Board of Trustees; Director, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. He has been the Edmond and Marion Guggenheim Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology since 1986. He also has an extensive history on review and advisory committees of the National Institutes of Health and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Eli Lilly and Co since 1996. Dr. Prendergast has published more than 300 papers and abstracts.

Roy S. Herbst M.D., Ph.D., will also join the DiaTech Advisory Board. He recently accepted the position to lead medical oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and was previously at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Herbst is best known for his work in linking genetic abnormalities of cancer cells to novel therapies. Dr. Herbst received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College and earned a Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from Rockefeller University. He completed his medical oncology fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and a medical hematology fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where he also received a master's degree from Harvard University for Clinical Investigation.

Martin Fleisher, Ph.D., Chief of the Clinical Chemistry Service and Director of the Biomarker Discovery Laboratory at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City will also join the DiaTech team. Dr. Fleisher is an international expert in the discovery and use of tumor markers and biomarkers for detecting and monitoring various types of cancers. Dr. Fleisher has been awarded three patents by the United States, European, and Australian patent offices for test procedures in the area of cancer screening. His research interests in analytical methodologies include enzymes as diagnostic tools, discovery and validation of biomarkers for monitoring therapeutic efficacy in cancer, and in the clinical use of circulating tumor cells in drug development. Dr. Fleisher has published over 70 papers, including five chapters on his research, and has edited a book on the Clinical Biochemistry of Cancer.

"The DiaTech MiCK assay is an impressive technology that may work on all cancers and the only test we know of in the market that can tell the most effective chemotherapy for inducing apoptosis (cell death) in the malignant cells of a particular patient. We may have therefore a unique opportunity to improve the treatment of cancer patients. Furthermore, this technology may be useful as a tool for pharmaceutical companies to improve the drug discovery cycle," said Dr. Frank Prendergast, Emeritus Director for Clinic for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic and Emeritus Trustee of the Mayo Foundation.

The Microculture Kinetic (MiCK) assay for apoptosis is an advanced novel technology that measures the precise timing and extent of apoptosis induced in tumor cells by chemotherapy drugs or experimental anticancer drugs either as monotherapy or in drug combination. Because of this unique capability, the MiCK assay can be a valuable tool in the field of drug discovery by reducing the costs associated with validation studies and the time required to obtain FDA approval.


Steve Latimer


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