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New Imaging Agent Detects Tumors and Disease States

March 14, 2013, Salt Lake City, UT and Lincoln, NE: Echelon® Biosciences, Inc. and LI-COR Biosciences announce a collaboration to release a new diagnostic imaging reagent, Autotaxin-Red(ATX-Red). ATX-Red imaging reagent can be used to detect cancer tumors and certain disease states in animals expressing the enzyme autotaxin (ATX). Using LI-COR IRDye® 800CW and IRDye QC-1, ATX-Red imaging reagent is an ATX-activated probe that fluoresces when cleaved by the action of ATX. ATX-Red imaging reagent allows researchers to directly visualize the local activity of ATX in animals. This could lead to direct, non-invasive determination of tumors and disease pathology using basic imaging equipment, such as the LI-COR Pearl® Impulse Small Animal Imaging System

"The non-invasive detection of ATX enzyme activity is important because ATX is present in solid tumors, brain cancers, and in other disease states such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, neuropathic pain, and even obesity," says Nathan Rupert, Echelon marketing manager. "Visualizing ATX activity directly in animals with near-infrared imagers will allow for investigation of cancer treatments, such as drug therapy, surgical dissection efficiency, and the detection of cancer cell metastasis. Uses in other disease states are currently being investigated with worldwide collaborations to study this technology's potential".

It is the combination of the two IRDye infrared dyes from LI-COR, linked to the ATX substrate synthesized by Echelon chemists, which is important to its use in medical research.

"With ATX-Red imaging reagent, researchers can obtain quantitative and highly sensitive images in experimental animals," says Shawn Mischnick, LI-COR technical product specialist. "Scientists benefit from both companies' technologies when they image their animals using Echelon's Autotaxin-Red imaging reagent."

To learn more about ATX-Red, contact Echelon Biosciences at

Echelon Biosciences, Inc. is a cell biology assay, reagents, diagnostics, and services (screening assays & custom synthesis) company in the rapidly expanding field of lipid signaling. Founded in 1997, Echelon's Salt Lake City-based facility focuses on PI3-Kinase and phosphoinositide signaling, sphingolipids, Autotaxin and lysophospholipids, heme pathways, isoprenoids, the methylerythritol phosphate pathway, and extracellular matrix components.

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