NextGen introduces biomarker discovery product for human blood

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NextGen Group Plc (AIM: NGG), an AIM listed company providing biomarker discovery services and diagnostic assay development, announces the commercialisation of a new assay for the discovery of biomarkers in human blood. The new assay will expand the product offering of NextGen’s contract research subsidiary, NextGen Sciences Inc.

•    Enhanced capability for discovery of new diagnostic markers

  •     Expects to expand client base with wider product range

NextGen Group Plc (AIM: NGG), an AIM listed company providing biomarker discovery services and diagnostic assay development, announces the commercialisation of a new assay for the discovery of biomarkers in human blood.

The new assay will expand the product offering of NextGen’s contract research subsidiary, NextGen Sciences Inc.

An assay is the procedure for testing the effects of a chemical in an organism. For example, assays are used to discover biomarkers which are used to identify the existence and progression of a disease. Biomarkers are also commonly used in clinical trials to aid in patient selection and to evaluate the effectiveness of a drug.

There is a significant need for biomarkers to monitor and diagnose central nervous system (CNS) disorders and cancer both within the patient care and drug development industries.
The “PLASMAassay-human A.1.0” product is capable of measuring 52 blood proteins simultaneously that have been identified as likely biomarkers in both CNS disorders and some cancers, including lung, breast and prostate cancer.

Barry McAleer, PhD, CEO of NextGen Sciences Inc says: “This new assay is a very high-quality platform through which our customers can accelerate their biomarker discovery research.”

“Customers who outsource the development of custom assays to us will also benefit from this cutting-edge product.”

“The product will also be used by NextGen’s diagnostics subsidiary to progress its own research programmes in the discovery of diagnostic markers.”

The release of the PLASMAassay-human A.1.0 product comes on the heels of the commercialisation of NextGen’s csfdiscovery82 (now renamed as CSFassay-human A.1.0), an assay for the discovery of CNS biomarkers in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Says Barry McAleer: “This confirms NextGen’s capability to discover diagnostic biomarkers in several bodily fluids i.e. blood and cerebrospinal fluid. This establishes us as a leader in providing high quality assays for many proteins for which until now there were not assays.

“These assay products are already attracting interest in the marketplace and we are in discussions with a number of clients who wish to use these assays in their R&D programmes.”

Klaus Rosenau, Chairman of NextGen Group PLC, explains: “We continue to push aggressively to create new products and bring them to market. The current products provide our customers with a unique resource in their biomarker and drug development programmes and we have further exciting products currently under development that will significantly enhance our offering.”

“The beauty of these products is that not only can we attract revenues from our clients who wish to exploit the assays, but we can use the same assays to build upon the project engine pipeline of the NextGen Sciences Dx business to generate further intellectual property and seek out biomarker sale/licencing/testing routes to build value for our shareholders.”

NextGen uses mass spectrometry (a technique for specifically identifying and quantifying biomarkers in samples) as its core technology to discover highly specific protein biomarkers that can be used for diagnostic purposes.

In 2010, the total global market for biomarkers was an estimated $13.5 billion and is expected to grow to nearly $33.3 billion by the end of 2015 (BCC Research).

Last month (March 2012) NextGen’s diagnostics subsidiary, NextGen Sciences Dx, filed for intellectual property on a combination of CSF protein biomarkers with the potential for diagnosing early-stage dementia and for monitoring its progression.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

NextGen Group Plc (AIM: NGG) is a provider of biomarker services for pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally through its USA-based subsidiary, NextGen Sciences Inc and a developer of diagnostic markers and assays through its second US-based subsidiary, NextGen Sciences Dx. Using advanced techniques, such as Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry analysis, the Company is developing a portfolio of robust assays for testing clinical samples for drug safety and efficacy, and the development of personalized treatment for patients.

NextGen Sciences Inc is a wholly owned, operational subsidiary of NextGen Group Plc and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. NextGen Sciences’ range of services, which include biomarker discovery, assay development, validation and testing are employed by its customers as a key part of the biomarker-based drug and diagnostic development process.

NextGen Sciences Dx is a wholly owned, operational subsidiary of NextGen Group Plc and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. NextGen Sciences Dx utilises the expertise of NextGen Sciences Inc to discover biomarkers and develop assays for point-of-care diagnostics, to assist in patient treatment, for selection of patients for clinical trials and to aid decision-making on efficacy determination for therapeutic development.

For further details please contact:

Klaus Rosenau
Chairman
NextGen Group
Tel: +49 (0)160 5516756

Barry McAleer PhD MBA
CEO
NextGen Sciences Inc and NextGen Sciences Dx Inc
Tel: +44 (0)7825 413 110

Nicola Marrin
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7107 8000
Seymour Pierce Limited

Fay Israsena or Nick Mattison
Mattison Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7645 3636

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Klaus Rosenau, Chairman and CEO
NextGen Group
+49 160 551 6756
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Jonathan Wright, Nicola Marrin
Seymour Pierce
+44 (0) 20 7107 8000
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