Immunicon Announces Laboratory Services and Assay Development Agreements with Merck SeronoHUNTINGDON VALLEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 29, 2007 - Immunicon Corporation (NASDAQ-GM:IMMC) announced today that it has entered into laboratory service and assay development agreements with Merck Serono, Geneva, Switzerland, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The agreements cover laboratory service testing and development of specialized biomarker assays based on Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs), within the scope of an early clinical drug study. With the results of the tests performed within the scope of the agreements, researchers at Merck Serono may be able to examine biological activity of the drug(s) being evaluated, both early in the course of treatment and early in the drug development process. Moreover, the new assays developed under the agreement may eventually help doctors to identify patients who have a high probability of responding to the drug under investigation.
Leon Terstappen, M.D. PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Immunicon, said, "We are looking forward to starting this collaboration with Merck Serono. The ability to 'interrogate' the extremely rare circulating cells once isolated from peripheral blood gives unprecedented opportunities to see 'real-time' what is happening with tumor cells in patients upon exposure to investigational drugs. On top of testing kinetics of circulating tumor cells, which may give important information on drug activity itself, the assays we will be developing in this project may provide predictive information as to who is likely to react to the drug and who is not. This can ultimately be an important tool on the way to personalizing cancer therapy."
Byron D. Hewett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Immunicon, commented, "We are very pleased to work with Merck Serono, a global company focusing on innovative small molecules and biopharmaceuticals. The laboratory service testing and the specialized assay we will develop is yet another example of the value of rare cell isolation and analysis in oncology drug development studies."
About Immunicon Corporation
Immunicon Corporation is developing and commercializing proprietary cell- and molecular-based human diagnostic and life science research products with an initial focus on cancer disease management. Immunicon has developed platform technologies for selection and analysis of rare cells in blood, such as circulating tumor cells and circulating endothelial cells that are important in many diseases and biological processes. Immunicon's products and underlying technology platforms also have application in the clinical development of cancer drugs and in cancer research and may have applications in other fields of medicine, such as cardiovascular and infectious diseases. For more information, please visit www.immunicon.com
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James G. Murphy
SVP of Finance & Administration, CFO
Posted: August 2007