mtm laboratories is partnering with MetaSystems to develop a customized, automated imaging system for use with its CINtec® cervical cancer cytology products. The collaboration aims to co-develop a cost-effective, efficient platform capable of automatically evaluating large numbers of cervical cytology slides for overexpression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor protein p16^INK4a, a biomarker linked with oncogenic activity of high-risk HPV.
mtm already markets the CINtec® cytology kit as a qualitative, immunocytochemical assay for staining cervical cytology preparations. Stained slides currently have to be evaluated by eye. mtm and MetaSystems aim to develop a specific and sensitive imaging solution based on the latter’s Metafer slide-scanning and imaging platform.
In addition to its existing CINtec Cytology kit, mtm also markets the CINtec Histology kit as an immunohistochemistry assay for the qualitative detection of the same biomarker on slides prepared from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cervical biopsies. During 2008 the company launched its CE-marked Cervatec™ ELISA as an adjunct to Pap test screening for providing quantitative proof of the presence of this antigen in cervical smear material.
The company’s kits are based around the E6H4™ antibody clone, which is highly selective and sensitive for the detection of p16^INK4a and very early processes of high risk HPV that transform infection to cervical cancer.