updated 10/19/2010 5:45:30 AM ET 2010-10-19T09:45:30

WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On-Q-ity, a next-generation oncology diagnostics company developing personalized tests to improve cancer therapy effectiveness, today announced it presented data on the characterization of HER-2 levels of breast cancer circulating tumor cells (CTC) captured utilizing the company's dual-capture microfluidic chip. The data was presented in poster #A23, "A Microfluidic Device For the Capture and HER-2 Characterization of Circulating Tumor Cells From Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients," at 4:55pm ET at the 2010 ASCO-NCI-EORTC Annual Meeting on Molecular Markers in Cancer that is being held on October 18-20, 2010, in Hollywood, Florida. In addition, the poster will be featured during a discussion session from 5:30-6:30pm ET. The discussion, titled "Novel Strategies for Enrichment and Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells," will be led by Dr. Jeffrey Chalmers, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ohio State University.

"This data shows that CTCs captured by On-Q-ity's unique and easy-to-use microfluidic chip can be characterized by current affinity tests, including FISH, immunocytochemistry (ICC), and QuantitativePCR," said Gary Palmer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of On-Q-ity. "These crucial tests are used to determine the type of breast cancer a patient has, so it is important that CTCs captured by our technology can be characterized to help determine which treatments are appropriate for that patient. This data complements data presented earlier this month that showed our dual-capture technology is able to capture CTCs via both size and affinity screening, even those that are small and elude size capture and those that have minimal antigen expression and escape affinity capture."

In the study, the On-Q-ity microfluidic chip was used to capture CTCs from blood from metastatic breast cancer patients. Captured cells on the chip were then fixed, permeabilized, and stained for fluorescent visualization and analysis was performed directly on the chips. On-chip HER-2 characterization by ICC showed HER-2 signals that correlated with the HER-2 status of the primary tumor.

"This data is further evidence that our dual-capture chip may be a promising predictive diagnostic tool for cancer patients and their physicians, from early detection of CTCs to the prediction of the success of a specific therapy to real-time monitoring of therapy effectiveness and early detection of recurrence," said Mara G. Aspinall, President and CEO of On-Q-ity. "Our chip is highly unique in this burgeoning field as it is able to capture CTCs via size and affinity, a dual-capture screen that is more precise and effective than either method alone."

About On-Q-ity

On-Q-ity is a next-generation diagnostics company transforming cancer treatment through non-invasive diagnostic monitoring. The company is developing innovative diagnostics to identify the unique characteristics of an individual's cancer, predicting the response to therapy, and monitoring the efficacy of treatment. Headquartered in Waltham, MA, On-Q-ity is funded by Atlas Venture, Bessemer Venture Partners, MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, Northgate Capital and Physic Ventures. For more information: www.On-Q-ity.com

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