updated 9/29/2010 4:45:47 PM ET 2010-09-29T20:45:47

VEDBAEK, Denmark, Sept. 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exiqon A/S, traded at NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen ("EXQ"), today presented data achieved using Exiqon's miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR screening platform for biomarker detection at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting on "Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development". In a subsequent press release, the American Association for Cancer Research points out the following main conclusions from Exiqon's presentation:

  • Robust, sensitive, and stable profiling of microRNAs from blood samples (plasma) is feasible using Exiqon's LNA™-enhanced PCR technology platform, the miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR system
     
  • microRNA profiles of plasma constitute potential biomarkers for early detection of colorectal cancer
     
  • microRNAs are stable in blood plasma prepared under standard hospital protocols.

The AACR release quotes Exiqon's presenter, Dr. Soren Jensby Nielsen, scientific manager, Diagnostic Product Development:

"[...] Nielsen's team developed a state of the art screening method based on the miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR. With it, they profiled blood plasma samples collected from patients with early, resectable (Stage II) colorectal cancer and sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers.

The findings suggest that it is possible to distinguish early-stage colorectal cancer from healthy subjects with good sensitivity and specificity from a single plasma sample — less than 1 mL of blood. They are starting a large, prospective clinical trial in symptomatic individuals undergoing colonoscopy to prospectively validate their screening test.

Although Nielsen's team focused on colorectal cancer screening, their results indicate the technology has broader applicability [...]."

Click here to read the full press release from AACR; http://www.aacr.org/home/public--media/aacr-press-releases.aspx

Mr. Nielsen's presentation provided an update on the technical performance and validation of Exiqon's new qPCR platform, the miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR system, which the company launched in October 2009.

The miRCURY LNA™ Universal RT microRNA PCR system combines all the advantages of LNA™ technology with a Universal reverse transcription (RT) step, resulting in the most sensitive microRNA expression profiling system currently available. The use of two LNA™-enhanced PCR primers results in both exceptional sensitivity and specificity, enabling accurate quantitation of very low microRNA levels, and discrimination between closely related microRNA sequences. The universal RT step greatly reduces sample input requirements and technical variation, and most importantly saves time in the laboratory.

The microRNA qPCR product line includes Ready-to-Use qPCR panels, combining performance and ease of use for exceptionally sensitive expression profiling of human, mouse and rat microRNAs. All of the more than 1000 validated primer sets are also available as individual microRNA assays.

Additional information

Lars Kongsbak, President and CEO, tel. +45 4566 0888 (cell: +45 4090 2101)

Adam Baker, Director of Diagnostics, tel. +45 4566 0986 (cell: +45 4090 2153)

Henrik M. Pfundheller, VP Sales & Marketing, tel. +45 4565 0420 (cell: +45 4090 2106)

About Exiqon

Exiqon's products are based on the proprietary LNA™ technology. This technology offers unique advantages for detection of microRNA biomarkers for life science researchers, drug developers and cancer treating physicians working towards personalizing medicine. Exiqon operates in two business areas: Exiqon Life Sciences has established a position for itself as one of the market's leading providers of microRNA research products for microRNA analysis in cells. Our research products are used by academia, biotech and pharmaceutical companies around the world to make groundbreaking discoveries about the correlation between gene activity and the development of cancer and other diseases. Exiqon Life Sciences is also collaborating with pharmaceutical companies in their effort to develop new medicines based on microRNA as biological markers (Exiqon Pharma Services). Exiqon Diagnostics collaborates with pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to develop novel molecular diagnostic tests for early detection of diseases which can help physicians make treatment decisions. Exiqon is listed on the NASDAQ OMX in Copenhagen. For more information about us, please visit www.exiqon.com.

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