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Oxford BioDynamics presents applications of its epigenetic biomarker technology EpiSwitchTM at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in San Diego

12th December 2016 – Oxford BioDynamics Plc (AIM: OBD), a revenue-generating biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel epigenetic biomarkers for use within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, announces that it recently presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), held in San Diego between 3-6th December 2016. The ASH meeting is considered the premier international conference in the field, where over 27,000 clinical and scientific professionals review the most prevalent topics in haematology.
The presentation entitled: ‘Chromatin Conformation Signatures Associated with Epigenetic Deregulation of the FIP1L1 and PDGFRA Genes,’ focused on the technical application of its EpiSwitch platform based on observation published in Nature by the researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (Flavahan et al. 2016).
The original study identified epigenetic changes that occurred in gliomas with mutant IDH1 protein. These changes led to the constitutive activation of a prominent oncogene – receptor tyrosine kinase gene PDGFRA. Together with other receptor tyrosine kinases, PDGFRA, is a prominent target not only in gliomas, but also in a number of haematological malignancies for targeted therapies based on tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) and anti-PDGFRA monoclonal antibodies.
The Oxford BioDynamics team presented its high resolution EpiSwitch MIQE-compliant qPCR assay that detected the aberrant, conditional chromosome conformation signature associated with deregulated PDGFRA. In essence, OBD assay detects regulatory changes in PDGFRA that would not be detected with conventional methodologies. The test provides unique biomarker insight into eosinophillic leukaemia, acute leukaemia and glioblastoma.
Dr Alexandre Akoulitchev, Chief Scientific Officer of Oxford BioDynamics said:
“This is a very exciting time for our epigenetic biomarker technology. Epigenetic insights into the understanding of the disease mechanisms were the main focus of interest for research and clinical communities at the ASH meeting this year. We are very glad to be able to quickly develop and provide practical tools for patient monitoring and stratification, based on definitive epigenetic biomarkers. The implications of what EpiSwitchTM biomarker stratifications could deliver for patients with deregulated PDGFRA has direct impact on achieving high efficacy of treatment and assisting in the clinical decision process for a broad choice of existing and newly developed TKI and other anti PDGFRA therapies.”