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University of Florida and Cyntellect Collaborate to Unlock Mysteries of Cancer Stem Cells

SAN DIEGO, November 20 /PRNewswire/ --

- In situ processing by LEAP system to enable novel experiments with high-purity rare cells

Cyntellect, a privately-held life sciences company leading the development and commercialization of live cell analysis, manipulation and purification systems, announced today that it has entered a research collaboration agreement with the University of Florida Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research. The agreement will focus on a variety of research areas including the purification and analysis of cancer stem cells (CSCs), rare cells which are believed to be directly involved in propagating cancers. The collaboration will exploit Cyntellect's proprietary LEAP system to purify these CSCs and their progeny without disturbing them from their growing environment -- a feat that should improve scientists' ability to study the natural properties and responses of these cells. Under the agreement, University of Florida will gain access to LEAP and Cyntellect will receive certain payments and commercial rights to discoveries under the collaboration.

"We are very pleased to embark with University of Florida on this quest to gain a better understanding of the molecular machinery, signaling pathways and markers associated with rare cells, such as CSCs. This information will be paramount to innovating novel drug development strategies and developing new cutting-edge diagnostics for crippling diseases, such as cancer," stated Dr. Fred Koller, Cyntellect's Chief Executive Officer. "We believe our LEAP technology offers a truly unique, efficient and highly accurate means of isolating rare cells and making them readily available for subsequent functional, proteomic or genetic analyses."

CSCs are cancer cells (found within tumors or hematological cancers) that possess characteristics associated with normal stem cells, specifically the ability to give rise to all cell types found in a particular cancer sample. These cells are therefore tumorigenic (tumor-forming), perhaps in contrast to other non-tumorigenic cancer cells. CSCs may generate tumors through the stem cell processes of self-renewal and differentiation into multiple cell types. Such cells are proposed to persist in tumors as a distinct population and cause relapse and metastasis by giving rise to new tumors. Therefore, development of specific therapies targeted at CSCs holds hope for improvement of survival and quality of life of cancer patients, especially for sufferers of metastatic disease [Wikipedia].

The collaboration represents the Company's second major LEAP collaboration this year and follows on the heels of a publicly announced LEAP system purchase by the University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute earlier this year. Cyntellect plans to enter into additional LEAP collaborations in 2009 aimed at leveraging cell manipulation for the purpose of enhancing discovery of new drugs, empowering cell-based diagnostics and accelerating development of cellular therapies. Parties interested in being considered for such collaborations should initiate contact and submit concept proposals to Cyntellect at info@cyntellect.com.

About Cyntellect

Cyntellect, Inc. is a life sciences company committed to revolutionizing the use of living cells in life science research and cellular therapy. The Company combines expertise in high-speed cellular analysis and laser-based manipulation to provide products that enable novel cell imaging, purification, and transfection capabilities to enhance the productivity of laboratory research, recombinant protein production, high-content cellular assays, functional genomics and proteomics, and cell purification, including processing of cells for therapeutic transplantation. For additional information please visit the Company's web site at http://www.cyntellect.com.

SOURCE Cyntellect, Inc.



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