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Biocept and Academic Collaborators to Present Poster at ASCO on Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

SAN DIEGO, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocept, Inc. today reported that its scientists and academic collaborators will present a poster at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) taking place in Chicago, Illinois June 3-7. The poster presentation is based on studies performed utilizing Biocept's proprietary OncoCEE™ (Oncology Cell Enrichment and Extraction) technology platform for the capture, detection, enumeration and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs).  OncoCEE™ enables not only CTC enumeration but also biomarker analysis, such as fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) performed on the CTCs, as demonstrated in this study of HER2 (Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor-2) analysis in 54 patients diagnosed with late stage metastatic/recurrent breast cancer.

Farideh Bischoff, PhD, Vice President, Translational Research at Biocept, said, "The data we are presenting not only addresses our ability to capture CTCs in patient samples using a cocktail of antibodies, but also to perform FISH for HER2 gene amplification on the intact CTCs.  Further, we show that CTCs are heterogeneous, like the tumors that shed them, and are potentially comprised of different populations.  For example, while concordance was generally very high between HER2 results on tumor tissue and CTCs, certain patients that are HER2+ by tissue evaluation could have HER2+ or HER2- CTCs, and even in those that had HER2+ CTCs, typically all were not positive.  The opposite was also true – certain HER2- patients by tissue analysis were shown to have HER2+ CTCs.  We think these results could have important clinical implications for patients."

A second presentation, published as an abstract, involved collaborators from MD Anderson and USC, and focused on CTCs in ovarian and colorectal cancer.  Key findings were that CTCs lacking cytokeratin (CK), an important CTC marker, could be identified through aneuploidy, and that these CK- cells, while fewer in number than CK+ CTCs, appeared to correlate better with clinical outcome.

Additional details for the ASCO posters or abstract are as follows:

Mon, June 6, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Hall A, poster #35H

Abstract #10631 - Redefining CTCs: Detection of additional circulating tumor cells using an antibody capture cocktail and HER2 FISH

F. Z. Bischoff, T. J. Pircher, T. Pham, K. Wong, S. Mikolajczyk, P. Cotter, J. A. Mayer; Biocept Inc., San Diego, CA

Clinical Relevance of cytokeratin negative circulating tumor cells

C. V. Pecot, F. Z. Bischoff, Y. G. Lin, P. Jaladurgam, W. M. Merritt, T. J. Pircher, S. Mikolajczyk, J. A. Mayer, K. Wong, T. Pham, J. N. Bottsford-Miller, R. L. Stone, J. Celestino, A. M. Nick, C. Eng, A. Sood; University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Biocept Inc., San Diego, CA; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

About Biocept, Inc.

Biocept Laboratories, headquartered in San Diego, California, is an advanced CLIA-certifed laboratory services company specializing in the capture, detection, enumeration and analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs).  Biocept's mission is to enhance the lives of cancer patients through the development of innovative diagnostic products and services.   Biocept utilizes innovative, proprietary technologies to deliver clinically relevant and actionable information to physicians that enable better patient care.  This includes clinical assessments of CTCs, both prognostic and predictive, which may provide physicians with important information for the treatment of their patients with cancer.

About OncoCEE™

The OncoCEE™ platform, developed by Biocept, has demonstrated that it can consistently and accurately capture extremely rare cells, like CTCs, which may be present in only 1 of every 50-100 billion blood cells.  Biocept obtains patient samples via a simple blood draw, or "liquid biopsy", instead on relying on traditional biopsy methods or surgical procedures.  Existing methods to detect and enumerate CTCs rely only on the expression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) and cytokeratins.  This limited selection may exclude cells that have undergone intrinsic modifications of their phenotype such as epithelial/mesenchymal transition (EMT).   EMT may represent a possible explanation for patients who, despite an aggressive disease, are found negative for the presence of CTCs.  Because it employs an antibody cocktail, OncoCEE™ has the potential to capture not only EpCAM but also mesenchymal-like cells.  Additionally, OncoCEE™ enables in situ analysis of predictive biomarkers like HER2 estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR).

For more information, please contact Michael Dunn, Sr VP of Corporate Development at 888-332-7729 or by visiting Biocept's web site at . The Company's website is not part of this press release.

SOURCE Biocept, Inc.
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