Product News: Beckman Coulter Collaborates in Multisite Research Project for Cardiovascular Disease Markers

06 Dec 2007

Beckman Coulter, Inc. has announced that it is the industrial partner in a two-year research project to be carried out at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and Laboraf Diagnostica e Ricerca San Raffaele SpA in Milan, Italy. The collaborative research will seek to discover genetic signatures for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and obesity-related hypertension. Beckman Coulter will have exclusive license to commercial application of the results, which will be used to develop content for the company's molecular diagnostics platform.

"Molecular Diagnostics will be a key growth area for Beckman Coulter in the coming years. This collaboration provides an unparalleled opportunity to obtain additional content for our platform," commented Bruce Wallace, vice president of Beckman Coulter's Molecular Diagnostics Business Center. "Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide and obesity is an important determinant. The discovery of genetic factors for both CVD and obesity may lead to development of readily accessible diagnostic tests that enable more rapid assessment, earlier treatment and preventive measures. Our deep understanding of diagnostics gives us the unique ability to convert research tools and platforms into in vitro diagnostic tests used to deliver a complete, sample-to-result solution."

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and Laboraf Diagnostica e Ricerca San Raffaele SpA will share samples and results during the project. Beckman Coulter will work with the partners to develop research protocols and assays. Products and platforms used in the research studies include Biomek® FXP Laboratory Automation Workstations and GenomeLab™ SNPStream® Genotyping Systems.

Paolo Fortina, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Cancer Biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center and Maurizio Ferrari, M.D., professor of Clinical Pathology at University Vita-Salute San Raffaele and director of the Clinical Molecular Biology and Cytogenetics Laboratory at Laboraf Diagnostica e Ricerca San Raffaele SpA, have worked together and with Beckman Coulter on other research projects for over a decade. "We share a common goal for the advancement of cardiovascular disease diagnosis and treatment and we are excited to focus our specialties on this new project," explained Fortina.

"The possibility of discovering the genes that are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease is very exciting," commented Professor Ferrari. "If the results can ultimately be used to develop molecular diagnostic tests, it will be a breakthrough of major importance."

Thomas Jefferson University is composed of three colleges—Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson College of Graduate Studies and Jefferson College of Health Professions. The three colleges enroll more than 2,600 future physicians, scientists and health care professionals. Founded in 1824, Jefferson Medical College is one of the largest private medical schools in the nation with the largest living alumni group. Thomas Jefferson University partners with Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, its education and clinical care affiliate.

San Raffaele of Monte Tabor Foundation, founded in 1971 by Luigi Maria Verzé, is a nonprofit private Foundation and includes: the San Raffaele Scientific University Institute of Milan, one of the biggest hospitals in Italy with more than 3,600 employees and 1,392 beds; the San Raffaele Biotechnology Department (DiBit), one of the most important basic research centers in Europe and the largest scientific private biotech park in Italy; and the Vita-Salute University, which integrates education with basic research and clinical activities.

Beckman Coulter, Inc., based in Fullerton, California, develops, manufactures and markets products that simplify, automate and innovate complex biomedical tests. More than 200,000 Beckman Coulter systems operate in laboratories around the world, supplying critical information for improving patient health and reducing the cost of care.