Rockville, Md. (Feb. 17, 2011)-The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc. (HJF) has signed a licensing agreement with Biocare Medical, a biotechnology company based in Concord, Calif., for the exclusive worldwide sales and distribution rights for the immunohistochemistry of an antibody designed to detect tumor prevalence in prostate cancer patients.
The antibody was developed at the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR), a multidisciplinary prostate cancer translational research program that is part of Department of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. HJF supports the center with research management and administrative services.
The mouse monoclonal anti-ERG antibody (CPDR ERG-MAb) can detect the presence of ERG proteins with a high degree of specificity in 50 percent to 70 percent of all patients with prostate cancer. The proteins are linked to cells capable of causing tumor growth. Using the antibody, researchers were able to identify the presence of ERG proteins with an unprecedented 99.9 percent accuracy. Detecting prostate tumor cells in pathologic specimens will aid in diagnostics, prognostics and patient monitoring.
Under a parallel cooperative research and development agreement, Biocare Medical will collaborate with researchers at CPDR, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Walter Reed Army Medical Center to further study the anti-ERG antibody and its clinical diagnostic potential.
The CPDR ERG-MAb provided the first insights into the ERG protein expression features in the prostate gland, indicating a strong correlation (97 percent) between the presence of ERG-positive prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and ERG-positive carcinoma.
Groundbreaking research in the prostate cancer field has established ERG protein activation by recurrent gene fusions as one of the key genomic defects in prostate cancer. The protein is a promising diagnostic marker for identifying prostatic adenocarcinoma and distinguishing it from non-neoplastic prostate and other adenocarcinomas.
The antibody also may be used for detecting ERG protein alterations in other cancers, including endothelial cell derived tumors and acute myelogenous leukemia.