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mtm laboratories and MetaSystems partner to develop Automated CINtec Cytology Imaging System


Heidelberg, Germany; May 26, 2009- mtm laboratories, a privately held diagnostics company developing, manufacturing and globally commercializing in vitro diagnostics for cervical cancer early detection and diagnosis, and MetaSystems, a leading manufacturer of microscopic imaging systems worldwide, today announced the signing of an agreement to co-develop a customized automated imaging system for use in conjunction with mtm’s CINtec® Cytology products.

mtm’s CINtec® Cytology kit is a qualitative, immunocytochemical assay for the evaluation of p16INK4a, a biomarker indicative of the onset of cervical disease, and is available globally for the early detection and management of cervical cancer. CINtec® Cytology visually stains cervical cells that are over-expressing the biomarker p16, which clinically correlates with the screened women who harbour underlying high grade cervical disease. The automated imaging solution that the two companies are now developing is targeted to achieve equal or better sensitivity and specificity compared to manual observation and evaluation of the cytology slides, but with a greater degree of efficiency. This will be done by adapting Metafer, a system developed by MetaSystems that offers a unique high performance slide scanning and imaging platform, to the specific needs for analyzing CINtec® Cytology stained slides.

The agreement initially covers the co-development of the imaging system and will lead upon success to a co-promotion effort from both companies based on any successfully developed end product.

The combined system that the two companies aim to develop should be a cost effective and highly efficient tool to assess large numbers of cytology slides to pinpoint those specimens showing over-expression of p16INK4a in the context of cervical cancer early detection and diagnosis.

Bob Silverman, Chief Executive Officer of mtm laboratories, commented on this agreement: 'MetaSystems offers very valuable tools for leveraging the well established clinical utility of mtm’s CINtec® Cytology products in the early detection of cervical cancer. As a result we will together meet the market demand for automated solutions that have the potential to improve on current approaches to the early detection of cervical cancer”.

Andreas Plesch, Managing Director for MetaSystems, added: “mtm’s CINtec® Cytology for cervical cancer detection is a complimentary technology that allows MetaSystems to expand into providing solutions for Cytology. We are excited by the success mtm has already had in bringing its diagnostic systems to the market and expect a high degree of synergy in combining mtm’s and MetaSystems’ technologies. We feel sure that the automated system we will develop together is well suited to the needs for accurate and efficient approaches for the early detection of cervical cancer.”

***

mtm laboratories AG is an ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified developer and manufacturer of In-Vitro Diagnostic Devices (IVDD) for use in the early detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer. The Company operates on a global basis with headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany and subsidiaries in the United States, France, Italy and Spain. Further information can be found at: www.mtmlabs.com.

MetaSystems is a leading provider of automated imaging systems with applications in cytogenetic, haematology, toxicology, pathology, and cancer research. The high throughput scanning platform Metafer automates metaphase finding, rare cell detection, and cell screening for genetic analyses such as interphase FISH spot counting and translocation scoring. Headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, the company supplies its solutions worldwide through subsidiaries in the United States and Hong Kong as well as through distributors. MetaSystems has an installed base of more than 3,500 systems in 70 countries. Further information can be found at: www.metasystems.de

Further Information:


Bob Silverman
CEO
mtm laboratories AG
t: +1 508 366 8334
e: contact@mtmlabs.com

Douglas Pretsell
Senior Account Director
College Hill
t : +49 (0)89 57 00 18 06
e: douglas.pretsell@collegehill.com

Andreas Plesch, Ph.D.
Managing Director
MetaSystems GmbH
t: + 49-6205-39610
info@metasystems.de

Notes for Editors

The CINtec® family of diagnostic products
The target for mtm's cervical cancer early detection technology platforms is the evaluation of the over-expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p16INK4a. The over-expression of this biomarker is directly correlated to the oncogenic activity of High Risk Human Papilloma Virus (HR-HPV) that marks the generation of cervical cancer. These biomarker-based diagnostic assays hold the promise to bring high levels of sensitivity and specificity towards the detection of high grade cervical disease in adjunctive uses with conventional technologies. mtm's family of products is based on mtm's proprietary E6H4TM antibody clone which was specifically developed for immunochemistry applications in cervical histology and cytology specimens.

The CINtec® immunoassays are validated to provide a sensitive and specific method for the detection of p16INK4a in cervical tissues. The currently marketed CINtec® In-vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) have been developed for application on:

cervical biopsies (CINtec® Histology) and
cervical cytology preparations such as smears and liquid based cytology samples (CINtec® Cytology)
CINtec® products are available on a global basis through mtm's direct operations and distributors.


About Metafer

MetaSystems has been offering an automatic metaphase finder for over 20 years that has been progressively developed to the unique high performance slide scanning platform Metafer. Since Metafer software is based on an open modular concept, the same hardware allows the use of different software modules for a high variety of applications. Today, metaphase finding and clinical chromosome analysis is only one of the applications available for Metafer. Others range from pathology and hematology (quantitative genetic scoring of tissue sections from solid tumors or from bone marrow preparations; virtual slide imaging; rare tumor cell detection) to toxicology (DNA damage assessment using the micronucleus test or Comet assay; chromosome aberration testing and automatic scoring of dicentric chromosomes) and even to forensic science (automatic sperm detection in material from crime scenes).


Publisher Contact Information:

mtm laboratories AG
+1 508 366 8334
contact@mtmlabs.com

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