Almac Diagnostic Services Launches Ovarian Cancer Research Tool

September 16, 2008

CRAIGAVON, NORTHERN IRELAND– (DATE) – Almac Diagnostic Services has today announced the release of a new Cancer DSA™ research tool for ovarian cancer.  The tool has additional disease specific information which is optimised for use with Formalin Fixed Paraffin Embedded (FFPE) tissue, an ideal platform for cancer diagnostic development.

Ovarian cancer is considered one of the most dangerous gynaecological cancers among women worldwide and is the rated the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK.

Almac Diagnostic Services have developed a range of disease focused transcriptome based microarrays or DSA™ (disease specific array) research tools that are designed for use in specific cancers. Almac’s latest DSA™ is the first microarray based on the transcriptome of ovarian cancer and is designed on the Affymetrix Genechip™ platform, ensuring reliable and reproducible results.

The array was generated by a combination of extensive in-house sequencing and public data mining and as a result contains tens of thousands of transcripts not available on conventional arrays. The ability to work with both frozen and FFPE tissue combined with the disease-targeted content, means this is the most focused and biologically comprehensive platform for studying ovarian cancer now available.  The ability to profile from FFPE also enables application to both current and retrospective tissue banks.

The Ovarian DSA™ contains probesets representing mitochondrial transcripts, antisense transcripts, alternatively polyadenylated transcripts and novel transcripts.  It will offer researchers the ability to reveal the mechanisms and pathways underlying ovarian cancer as well as to classify and sub-classify the disease and develop diagnostic, prognostic and predictive signatures.

Ultimately this could lead to clinical applications such as the development of targeted therapies and thus increasing survival rates and decreasing the number of patients receiving unnecessary or ineffective treatments.

Prof. Paul Harkin President and M.D. of Almac Diagnostic Services said:

“With over 6,000 cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the US every year, the application of our DSA™ technology will not only ensure a greater understanding of the mechanisms of the disease, but also improve the provision of solutions for the oncology market and the progression of targeted treatment for the advancement of patient care. Our Ovarian DSA™ is now the most advanced platform for studying ovarian cancer and could ultimately lead to the development of targeted therapies to tackle the disease”.

To date Almac have developed DSA™ research tools for colorectal, lung, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.



Michael Sloan

Almac Diagnostic Services

Tel: + 44 (0) 28 38392200

Carl Whyte

Stakeholder Communications

Tel: + 44 (0) 2890 339949

Notes to Editors:

About Almac Diagnostic Services:

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 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 2,000 employees and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California. Construction of the company’s new £100m 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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