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Ventana licenses Gen-Probe IP for measuring ERG protein in prostate cancer patients
Date:5/21/2012

TUCSON, Ariz., May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group, announced today that it has co-exclusively sub-licensed certain patents and patent applications from Gen-Probe Incorporated (GPRO) for the worldwide in vitro diagnostic (IVD) rights for measuring ERG protein expression through immunohistochemistry (IHC) in prostate tissue.  The license complements the existing Ventana worldwide co-exclusive sublicense under certain patents and patent applications for in situ hybridization (ISH) rights for measuring ETS gene rearrangements, including ERG gene rearrangements in tissue.

"We believe ERG testing by IHC and ISH will play an important role in novel diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tests for prostate cancer," says Mara G. Aspinall, President of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.  "This license gives us a unique position for this important biomarker as we see the opportunity to incorporate the ERG marker into VENTANA assays that can benefit hundreds of thousands of prostate cancer patients each year." 

Prostate cancer is the highest incidence cancer in the United States and Western Europe, with approximately 1 in 6 men having a lifetime risk of being diagnosed.  Additionally, prostate cancer is clinically and pathologically a heterogeneous disease which is in great need for improved diagnostic and prognostic assays for positive confirmation of prostate cancer and identification of aggressive or indolent forms of the cancer. 

In the journal Science, October 2005, researchers from University of Michigan, in collaboration with scientists from Brigham and Women's Hospital, identified that ERG, a known oncogene, rearranges and fuses with androgen response elements including TMPRSS2.  Since then, translational research has demonstrated that this rearrangement occurs in approximately 50 percent of prostate cancer patients,
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SOURCE Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
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