BREMEN, Germany—Bruker Corp. and 3M Co. have announced thesigning of an exclusive patent license agreement that will enable Bruker toinclude 3M-patented innovations related to matrix-assisted laser desorptionionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging. The patents in question arerelated to a technique for conducting mass spectrometry analysis on proteins intissue preserved in paraffin, and the technology makes it easier forresearchers to study formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue in researchand drug development. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are pleased to license these patents to Bruker, a leaderin the field of MALDI imaging, and see this technology applied in the market,"Dr. Todd Fruchterman, senior vice president of Research & Development andchief medical officer for 3M Health Care, said in a press release. "We hopethat this license agreement will accelerate the research in MALDI imaging ofFFPE tissue, and enable it to ultimately become a valuable diagnostic tool."
MALDI imaging originated as a way to analyze fresh, frozentissue sections, but in recent years has found increasing usage in the analysisof preserved FFPE tissue sections. This technology has seen a jump in usageparticularly in tissue sections such as tumor biopsies, and the ability tostudy molecular phenotypes thanks to MALDI imaging has allowed researchers tocorrelate such phenotypes with parameters such as disease status or patientoutcome.
"FFPE tissue is particularly important for the analysis by MALDIimaging because of the large available archives of such tissue with patientfollow-up data and the possibility to use tissue microarrays for the analysis,"said Dr. Hartmut Schlüter, professor at the University Medical CenterHamburg-Eppendorf, in a press release. "Furthermore, FFPE tissue is thestandard for histopathological diagnosis. Any future diagnostic application ofMALDI imaging will likely need to be established on FFPE tissue."
"The interest in the analysis of FFPE tissue by MALDIimaging is increasing strongly," Dr. Sören-Oliver Deininger, market manager forMALDI imaging at Bruker, commented in a statement. "Bruker has developedinnovative technology to make MALDI imaging viable in histopathology by theintegration of virtual microscopy and the possibility to classify tissue basedon the molecular phenotypes (class-imaging). Our license agreement with 3Mshows our ongoing commitment to the MALDI imaging field, and gives ourcustomers the necessary freedom to conduct their research and advance thefield."
This agreement with 3M is the second MALDI-focusedpartnership for Bruker in the past two months. The company announced on May 14an exclusive partnership with SCiLS GmbH centered on the SCiLS Lab software,which enables user-friendly statistical analysis of large MALDI imagingdatasets. The financial terms of the agreement were not released.
SOURCE: Bruker press release