Almac Announces Collaboration with Pfizer and the PETACC3 Translational Research Working Party

May 18, 2009

Focused on molecular subtyping and biomarker identification in Colorectal Cancer

Craigavon, Northern Ireland (19 May 2009). Almac Diagnostic Services has today announced a collaborative study between Almac, Pfizer and the PETACC3 Translational Research Working Party (PTRW). The study involves gene expression profiling of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples from the Pan-European Trials in Adjuvant Colon Cancer (PETACC 3) trial using Almac Diagnostic’s unique Colorectal Cancer DSA™ research tool to identify molecular subtypes, biomarkers and drug targets.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States and Europe and is the second most common cause of cancer mortality in both sexes.

The samples to be used in the study are taken from the PETACC 3 study, an international randomized, prospective trial of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage II and III colon cancer. This study represents a unique resource in advancing the molecular understanding of colon cancer.

Prof. Paul Harkin, President and Managing Director of Almac Diagnostic Services stated “As understanding grows of the heterogeneity of cancer, it is becoming increasingly clear that molecular subtypes are important both in patients’ prognosis and in predicting their response to chemotherapy. This has already been shown in breast cancer, and the study to be led by Almac, Pfizer and PTRW aims to examine this in colorectal cancer”.

The aims of the study are to identify molecular subtypes in colorectal cancer and to identify new drug targets in treatment resistant patients.



Michael Sloan

Almac Diagnostic Services

Tel: + 44 (0) 28 38337575

Carl Whyte

Stakeholder Communications

Tel: + 44 (0) 2890 339949

Notes to Editors:

Almac Diagnostic Services provides translational genomic based solutions for pharma, biotech and academia. Almac specialises in working with fresh and FFPE tissue for generation of predictive and prognostic tests, drug development, target identification and companion diagnostics.

About the Colorectal Cancer DSA™ research tool:

Almac Diagnostic’s range of Cancer DSA research tools are microarrays developed to enable accelerated research in discovery, development and validation and ultimately to deliver clinical applications.

As the first microarray based around the transcriptome colorectal cancer, the Colorectal Cancer DSA™ research tool generates significantly more information, which is reliable and relevant to the disease of interest, than is available on a generic array.

Array content has been generated through a process of sequencing, gene expression profiling and mining of public databases followed by extensive bioinformatics analysis to create and annotate the unique, comprehensive coverage of the colorectal cancer transcriptome. This provides researchers with all the information required to draw meaningful conclusions from their experimental data.

Based upon the gold standard Affymetrix GeneChip technology, the DSA research tools provide multiple independent measurements for each transcript and content is both reliable and reproducible.

About Almac Group:

The Almac Group comprises five closely integrated divisions offering a broad range of services from R&D, translational genomic services, API manufacture, product development, clinical trial supply and technology (IVRS/Web/EDC), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

The company has over 2,400 employees and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.

Construction of the company’s new $112m North American Headquarters started in July 08 and is expected to be completed late 2010.

For more information about the Almac Group, please visit


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