In this issue….Clinical interest in RDA around the globe, RDA in canine cancer and Sudbury lab automation moving forward!


Summer 2014

Clinical Interest in RDA™ Around the Globe

UK Developments

In May, Rna Diagnostics hosted a symposium with leading UK breast cancer researchers and clinical specialists. Discussion focused on the impact of RDA in Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy with the goal of generating collaborations with UK clinicians.

An important relationship was established with the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Network (ECMC). ECMC’s goal is to drive the development of new therapies to bring benefits to patients faster in part by facilitating collaborations.

Following the symposium, a further introduction was made to Cancer Research UK (CR-UK) and discussions are ongoing. This organization is the single largest funder of cancer research in the UK. They support the work of more than 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

In addition, preclinical research has begun with Professor Coombes of Imperial College to gather knowledge for the use of RDA in neoadjuvant endocrine therapy.

"We are very pleased with the progress in the UK. Our goal is to build relationships with these leading researchers and clinical specialists enabling collaborations and further clinical data. This ensures those making the treatment decisions are aware of RDA and the impact it can have on the quality of life of a breast cancer patient," said President and CEO of Rna Diagnostics Dr. Ken Pritzker.

The original article can be read here.

GERMANY Developments

Healthcare systems worldwide are searching for solutions that assist physician treatment guidelines and improve quality of life for patients. These solutions must also be cost effective.

The 34th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Senology conference (senology is a medical specialty focusing on diagnosis and management of the breast) attracts over 2500 breast cancer stakeholders and features up-to-date breast cancer diagnostics and therapies. Rna Diagnostics shared an interactive cost benefit model which clearly demonstrated the cost benefits of RDA in the neoadjuvant setting of breast cancer in Germany

This data will be critical for acceptance by governments, healthcare professionals and private payers as commercialization of RDA moves forward.

The original article can be read here.

Early results look promising for RDA in canine lymphoma

A study of canine lymphoma utilizing RDA, in partnership with the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph continues and early analysis looks promising.

Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent cancers for dogs, and is frequently treated with combination chemotherapy. While standard of care CHOP protocol is highly effective at inducing initial remission in most dogs, approximately 60% of treated dogs will either fail to achieve initial remission, or will relapse within 6 months. Second line 'rescue' therapy can be successful, but at this time there is no way of identifying which dogs should abandon CHOP and switch to rescue regimes, other than waiting for them to fail to achieve remission or to relapse early.

Dr. Brenda Coomber, Professor, and Dr. Paul Woods, Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology in the Department of Clinical Studies, both with the OVC, are trying to determine whether RDA will have predictive value for canine lymphoma patients undergoing CHOP chemotherapy. Canine lymphoma is an ideal disease for further evaluation of RDA. It's prevalent, employs the same chemotherapy drugs used in human treatment, is amenable to serial biopsy via fine needle aspirate, and has a disease course where the rate of treatment failure occurs in greater than half of all treated dogs.

To date, samples from thirty-three dogs have been accrued and analysis has been completed on 27 to date. While analysis is still underway, the data looks promising.

If RDA is found to be predictive of response, then future clinical trials will explore how best to use this biomarker to choose optimal treatment for all dogs with lymphoma. It is also possible that RDA analysis will be informative for treatment outcome in other types of companion animal cancer. The Animal Cancer Centre at OVC treats hundreds of canine cancer patients annually.

State-of-the-art equipment for RDA in testing phase

L to R: Baoqing Guo, Dr. Amadeo Parissenti, Jonathan Mapletoft, Kyle Mispel-Beyer, Rashmi Narendrula

Rna Diagnostics has completed installation of the automation equipment at the company's Sudbury laboratory, moving on to the testing phase to ensure the equipment meets all requirements. The equipment enables high-throughput RNA isolation and analysis so Rna Diagnostics will be ready to service markets around the world.

"We are very excited about the automation of RDA. Using high throughput clinical tissue homogenizers and an advanced robot customized for Rna Diagnostics, we can process 6-fold more clinical samples per day than that achieved using our manual methods. This is a major advance for our test," said Dr. Amadeo Parissenti, Chief Scientific Officer. "We also expect that automation will improve the reproducibility of RDA, such that the number of tests failing to meet our high performance standards will fall significantly. The barcode tracking systems that are being introduced with RDA automation will also ensure accurate sample identification and tracking, while automated 'pushing' of data into our databases and test reports will help avoid data transcription errors."

The equipment is in a dedicated Rna Diagnostics facility located at the Health Sciences North Hospital campus in Sudbury.

Management Team

Ken Pritzker, MD, FRCPC
President & CEO

Amadeo Parissenti, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

John Connolly, MBA
VP Corporate Development

John Jordan, MBA, CPA, CMA
Chief Financial Officer

Laura Pritzker, PhD
Principal Scientist

Clinical Advisory Board

Maureen E. Trudeau, MA, MD, FRCPC, Toronto, Canada

Gunter von Minckwitz, MD, PhD, Frankfurt, Germany

Michael Untch, MD, PhD, Berlin, Germany

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD, Richmond, VA, USA

Rna Diagnostics Inc. is a Canadian molecular diagnostics company developing diagnostic tools to improve chemotherapy management.

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Rna Diagnostics Inc.
MaRS Centre, Heritage Building, 101 College Street, Suite HL20-4, Toronto, ON, Canada
Toronto, ON M5G 1L7

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For more information contact:
John Connolly
VP Corporate Development