Ann Arbor-based NextGen Sciences Inc., a subsidiary of London, England-based NextGen Group plc (AIM:NGG) said Wednesday that it has launched its first multiple protein (multiplex) assay, plasmadiscovery41, for oncology biomarker discovery and qualification.

The assay simultaneously measures 41 human plasma proteins that are thought to have potential as biomarkers in cancer, particularly breast, prostate and lung cancers. The launch of plasmadiscovery41 is part of NextGen Sciences strategy of becoming a leading player in the growing oncology and central nervous system biomarker markets.

NextGen’s assay is based upon its multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry platform, and generates high quality reproducible data that companies can use in their drug and diagnostic development programmes. In addition to the cancer focus, the assay can be used for early-stage biomarker discovery and qualification in other disease areas. NextGen expects to continue to add proteins to the plasmadiscovery41 assay, in addition to developing other disease-focused assay panels, both as proprietary products and with other companies through partnerships and collaborations.

“The release of plasmadiscovery41 is a defining first step in the development of NextGen Sciences’ biomarker business, following its recent reorganization,” said NextGen Group chairman and CEO Klaus Rosenau. “It demonstrates that we are now delivering on our plans to develop multiplex protein assays and will help to establish the company as a market leader in biomarker discovery and qualification using its MRM technology. Importantly, it enables us to aggressively target increasing market share from the $600 million mass spectrometry based biomarker discovery market. We believe that pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies need high-quality assays relevant to their disease areas to inform their decision-making processes, and NextGen Sciences expects to launch more such products in the future.”

NextGen provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostic companies with rapid and quantitative protein biomarker discovery, measurement and qualification services using mass spectrometry technology. With a rise in the industry focus on personalized medicine and cost-effectiveness, biomarkers are playing an increasing important role in drug discovery, development and patient access, as well as healthcare delivery. The global market for biomarkers is expected to grow to $12.8 billion by 2012 (BCC Research), with those for neurological disorders ($3.5 billion by 2015, according to Espicom Healthcare) and oncology ($9.5 billion by 2014, according to playing an important role. NextGen Sciences’ products include discoveryexpress for discovery of new biomarkers and targets, assayexpress for assay development and testingexpress for biomarker qualification. For more information visit


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