Launch of Cytocell Aquarius® FISH probe for Leukemia Patient Prognosis Cytocell Ltd

Cytocell announced today the launch of its latest FISH probe to aid in determining the prognosis of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a cancer of the lymphocytes. Cytocell’s Aquarius® P53/ATM Probe Combination detects cytogenetic abnormalities in bone marrow specimens and peripheral blood samples from patients with CLL.

Deletions of ATM and TP53 are the most serious rearrangements involved in CLL and detection of deletions of these genes provides very important information as to the therapy choices for such patients especially since deletions of TP53 and ATM provide a poor prognosis.

CLL is the most common form of leukemia in the U.S. and Europe and is most commonly found in Caucasian men 60 years and older. In the United States, more than 15,000 patients are diagnosed with CLL each year, many of whom are discovered during routine medical exams. CLL progresses more slowly than other types of leukemia and most patients diagnosed with CLL have early-stage disease. Up to 50 percent are at risk for accelerated progression while others live for many years and often do not require therapy.

“This new addition to our catalogue augments our already extensive collection of FISH probes for leukaemia and provides a “two in one” solution to the diagnosis of CLL” said Dr Martin Lawrie, Managing Director of Cytocell. “The launch of this product demonstrates our continued focus on our range of Haematology probes which is continually growing. We also believe that through our new Custom FISH probe service, myProbes, we will be able to offer more and more of such products for Haematology, driven by the clinical requirements of our customers.“.

Technical Information on the P53/ATM FISH Assay

Although previously difficult to detect, the advent of FISH analysis of interphase cells of patients with B-CLL showed that around 17% of patients with the disease have deletions of the TP53 gene. Additionally, the protein kinase ATM (Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated) gene located in 11q22.3 is also frequently deleted in cases of B-CLL. To aid detection of these common deletions of B-CLL we have combined our existing P53 and ATM probes into a new P53/ATM Probe Combination that may be used as an aid in determining disease prognosis in combination with additional biomarkers, morphology and other clinical information. The Cytocell Aquarius® P53/ATM Probe Combination is not intended for use in selection of therapy or in monitoring of residual disease.

About FISH

FISH (fluorescence in-situ hybridization) technology has a variety of uses. It can identify whether too many, or too few, copies of a particular gene are present in the body’s cells or whether certain genes have rearrangements that play an active role in disease progression. Cancer diagnostics is one of the fastest growing applications. The Aquarius® P53/ATM FISH Probe Kit is the latest addition to Cytocell’s growing list of FISH in-vitro diagnostics products and complements the numerous individual FISH probes for CLL diagnosis and Cytocell’s patented Chromoprobe Multiprobe® CLL macroarray.

About Cytocell Ltd

Cytocell is a leading European developer and manufacturer of FISH probes for use in both routine cytogenetics and in the analysis and classification of Cancers. The Company’s products are well established in Cytogenetics as the Company is celebrating its 20th year of supplying them to this market. More recently, the Company has focused on developing products for Oncology and now has a catalogue of some 300 products for Cytogenetics, Haematology and Solid Tumour analysis as well as developing custom FISH probes for customers with specific interests under the myProbes® brand. Cytocell’s products are available through a well established distributor network, covering more than 60 countries worldwide. Cytocell’s FISH probe service is currently proving to be invaluable to cancer researchers and clinicians worldwide.