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12:00 AM
 | 
Jun 14, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Exosome: Bountiful harvest

Exosome harvests tumor RNA from blood and urine for companion diagnostics

Exosome Diagnostics Inc. believes its technologies for isolating exosomes from bodily fluids will make its tests for monitoring cancer patients more accurate and reproducible than other fluid-based RNA diagnostics because exosomes contain enriched, high-quality tumor RNA.

Exosomes are microvesicles that are shed into bodily fluids such as blood and urine by many mammalian cell types, including healthy and tumor cells. These vesicles contain proteins and RNA that are specific to the cell from which they are derived.

"Exosomes are fantastic packaging vehicles, and they encapsulate tumor-derived, high-quality RNA that hasn't been degraded or fragmented. So you have long, intact strands of RNA to analyze," CEO James McCullough told BioCentury.

In contrast, isolating RNA directly from whole blood or urine yields degraded RNA from all types of cells.

"If you use whole blood, then that's a huge haystack. If you pull out the exosome fraction, then you probably have a much better...

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