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Home > Press > Thermo Fisher Scientific and George Mason University Partner in Groundbreaking Protein Biomarker Research Project

Abstract:
Collaboration Aims to Accelerate Verification and Validation of Protein Biomarkers for Earlier Disease Diagnosis and Therapeutic Efficacy

Thermo Fisher Scientific and George Mason University Partner in Groundbreaking Protein Biomarker Research Project

WALTHAM, MA | Posted on May 28th, 2008

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, today announced an alliance between its Biomarker Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry (BRIMS) Center and George Mason University's Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) to accelerate biomarker validation and forge new breakthroughs in early disease diagnosis. Biomarkers are biochemical features or facets that can signal the progression or risk of disease, as well as the potential effectiveness of certain treatments.

A key challenge in biomarker research has been independent validation of experimental results, critical to acceptance of findings across the research community. The alliance between Thermo Fisher and CAPMM will overcome this challenge by creating a unique "cross-validation" workflow between the BRIMS and the George Mason University laboratory to provide fast biomarker validation. Both labs will use identical Thermo Scientific Quantum™ Ultra triple quadrupole mass spectrometers to analyze assays. After a newly discovered biomarker has been validated in the CAPMM lab, it will be sent to the BRIMS lab in Boston for independent validation, increasing confidence in the results for the scientific community.

"This pioneering work holds promise to break down longstanding barriers in protein biomarker research, and we're pleased that our technology and expertise are making it possible," said Marc N. Casper, chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "Our central mission at the BRIMS Center is to enable and support innovative projects that pave new ground in science, and this partnership perfectly aligns with that goal."

Drs. Lance Liotta, Emanuel Petricoin and Mark Ross will lead the project in the University's unique laboratory, which is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and outfitted with the industry-leading Thermo Scientific mass spectrometry technology. Working collaboratively, the research team will cull through cancer biomarker candidates and validate those with the greatest promise in a diagnostic setting.

"We believe that this project's powerful combination of tools, talent and unique methods will lead to key advancements in protein biomarker research," said Dr. Liotta, professor of life sciences at George Mason University and co-director of CAPMM. "Biomarker validation and verification are the chief bottlenecks in the entire research community. Our work with Thermo Fisher Scientific can enable the development of workflows and methods that will ease, if not possibly eliminate, this challenge all together."

"We're focused on developing a robust, reproducible protein biomarker analytical workflow that could shave years off the process of translating biomarkers into validated clinical diagnostic laboratory tests," said Dr. Petricoin, a professor of life sciences and chair of the Department of Molecular and Microbiology at George Mason University. "As researchers discover and sequence more potential disease-specific biomarker candidates, we need tools and methods to enable easy, rapid verification and validation of these biomarkers. That is a major objective of this strategic partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific."

George Mason University's CAPMM CAP/CLIA-compliant laboratory and the team's access to samples and patients create heightened efficiency on the project. These two factors enable the research environment to function like a hospital diagnostics-type facility - one team of scientists is able to develop and optimize assays and workflows, while another performs validation and assesses clinical utility.

Doctors Petricoin and Liotta are innovators in the field of proteomics. Together they have authored more than 175 proteomic-related, peer-reviewed articles for publication and have developed a cadre of proteomic strategies and technologies that are now accepted methods for diagnosis and disease treatment. Dr. Ross, an experienced and well-known mass spectrometrist and analytical chemist, will oversee the George Mason University research.

The Thermo Fisher Scientific BRIMS Center, located in Cambridge, Mass., opened in 2004 with the mission to support the development of methodologies and applications for protein biomarker identification. Equipped with a complete portfolio of Thermo Scientific mass spectrometers and staffed with a team of scientists with expertise in mass spectrometry, protein techniques and informatics, the BRIMS Center also develops leading software tools for proteomic research.

For more information about Thermo Fisher Scientific's extensive line of mass spectrometers, please visit www.thermo.com/ms.

Thermo Scientific is part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science.

####

About Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO) is the world leader in serving science, enabling our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. With annual revenues of $10 billion, we have more than 30,000 employees and serve over 350,000 customers within pharmaceutical and biotech companies, hospitals and clinical diagnostic labs, universities, research institutions and government agencies, as well as environmental and industrial process control settings. Serving customers through two premier brands, Thermo Scientific and Fisher Scientific, we help solve analytical challenges from routine testing to complex research and discovery. Thermo Scientific offers customers a complete range of high-end analytical instruments as well as laboratory equipment, software, services, consumables and reagents to enable integrated laboratory workflow solutions. Fisher Scientific provides a complete portfolio of laboratory equipment, chemicals, supplies and services used in healthcare, scientific research, safety and education. Together, we offer the most convenient purchasing options to customers and continuously advance our technologies to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery, enhance value for customers and fuel growth for shareholders and employees alike. Visit www.thermofisher.com.

The following constitutes a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are set forth in the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 29, 2008, under the caption "Risk Factors," which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and available in the "Investors" section of our Website under the heading "SEC Filings." Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: the risk that the legacy businesses of Thermo Electron Corporation ("Thermo") and Fisher Scientific International Inc. ("Fisher") will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the cost savings and any other synergies from the merger of Thermo and Fisher may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues; the need to develop new products and adapt to significant technological change; implementation of strategies for improving internal growth; use and protection of intellectual property; dependence on customers' capital spending policies and government funding policies; realization of potential future savings from new productivity initiatives; general worldwide economic conditions and related uncertainties; the effect of changes in governmental regulations; the effect of exchange rate fluctuations on international operations; the effect of laws and regulations governing government contracts; the effect of competing with certain of our customers and suppliers; and the effect of rapid changes in the healthcare industry. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimates change and, therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to today.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
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www.thermofisher.com
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