Anti-Cancer Drug Sensitivity Changes Detected With Biolog Phenotype MicroArrays

HAYWARD, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 8, 2011) - Biolog, Inc. reported today that two recent scientific presentations have demonstrated the usefulness of Biolog's Phenotype MicroArray™ technology for detecting alterations in sensitivity of cancer cells to anti-cancer drugs.

This week, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Orlando, Florida, a presentation by Dr. Lloyd Trotman and coworkers from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory used the Phenotype MicroArray assays of 92 anti-cancer drugs to examine drug sensitivity of cell lines with mutations commonly found in aggressive prostate cancers. They find that a PTEN inactivating mutation renders cells specifically sensitive to select sets of drugs in this panel. Because some of the chemicals that were found in the screen are similar in structure, yet unrelated to the classic pathway inhibitors, their results potentially lead to identification of a novel mechanism of action. This is particularly interesting since, according to recent results by the Cold Spring Harbor scientists, the current PI3K/AKT pathway inhibitor palette needs to be expanded through complementary drugs with alternative pathway targets in order to efficiently combat PTEN mutant cancers.

Furthermore, in a paper published in the March issue of the journal Cancer Research (71:1858), Dr. Charles Swanton and his research team from the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute examined colorectal cancer cells and studied the anti-cancer drug sensitivity of cells with chromosomal instability. Cancer patients exhibiting cells with such instability have a poor prognosis for survival. Using the Phenotype MicroArray assays they tested two pairs of isogenic cell lines without and with chromosomal instability and showed that the unstable cells exhibited a phenotype of multi-drug resistance.

Phenotype MicroArrays are panels of nearly 1500 cell assays that can be used to obtain detailed phenotypic analyses and comparisons of cells. The assays provide a redox dye-based colorimetric readout of diverse energy-producing pathways in any type of animal cell. Energy is needed to drive virtually all cellular processes, including growth, differentiation, stress responses, and responses to drugs and other small molecules. The seminal publication describing Phenotype MicroArray technology was also just published in March in the journal PLoS ONE (6:e18147).

A major advantage of PM technology is its simplicity. Any laboratory can run PM assays and even small differences between cell types can be accurately detected. Furthermore, it is useful in a wide range of studies. In cancer research, PM technology can be used to study the Warburg effect and the relationship between changes in oncogenes and changes in metabolism as well as shifts in sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs.

Phenotype MicroArray technology, initially developed with SBIR funding from NIH, is proving to be an important profiling technology. It allows scientists to study the growth properties and culture condition responses of bacterial, fungal, and even human cells. As such it is becoming a core technology for many cellular studies.

About Biolog:
Biolog is a privately held company based in Hayward, CA, that continues to lead in the development of powerful new cell analysis tools for solving critical problems in biological, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological research and development. It is the world leader in phenotypic cell profiling. Biolog's assay technology is unique in its broad applicability to cells -- this includes bacterial cells and fungal cells as well as animal cells. More than 200 scientific publications and presentations document the effectiveness and productivity of PM technology. The PM product line adds to the innovative microbial identification products offered by the company, such as the new GEN III System. Biolog products are available worldwide, either directly from the company or through its extensive network of international distributors. Further information can be obtained at Biolog's website,