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Health & Wellness
J&J Units Veridex and Ortho Biotech R&D Collaborate on the Future of Cancer Diagnostics

From Devon Prutzman, Director, Worldwide Communications, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics

On Monday, January 3, Veridex announced  the start of a collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital to develop a next-generation, automated diagnostic  test sensitive enough to detect a stray cancer cell among a billion blood cells and powerful enough to reveal the biology of cells at the DNA, RNA and protein levels – all from a non-invasive blood test. 

As we said in our press release:  the collaboration, which involves Ortho Biotech Oncology R&D , Unit of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., aims to develop a system  that could be used both by oncologists as a diagnostic tool for personalizing patient care, as well as by researchers to accelerate and improve the process of drug discovery and development.  

At Johnson & Johnson, our multidisciplinary business model already brings together the internal capabilities of our diagnostics business and our pharmaceutical sector to drive innovation. Adding the scientific and clinical expertise of Massachusetts General Hospital makes this a unique and powerful opportunity to advance the field of diagnostics.

We’re excited about this collaboration -- and about the interest in this news!  The story has spread far and wide through the media as reporters talk, write (and tweet!) about the announcement.  

There has been some confusion in some of the media stories, however, between the technology that this collaboration will focus on and existing technology that Massachusetts General Hospital developed previously.   Veridex and Massachusetts General Hospital will work together to develop a novel magnetic-based bench-top system that aims for higher sensitivity than current technology, as well as suitability for broad applications and ready dissemination.  Separately, the Massachusetts General Hospital team has developed first and second-generation versions of a microfluidic chip capable of capturing these cells with a high rate of efficiency.  This chip is not associated with the collaboration we announced on January 3. 

Although this is just the beginning of this collaboration and there is much work to do, we are proud to be part of this important step forward in the field of oncology and look forward to the benefits that this technology could one day bring to researchers, doctors, and ultimately, patients.