Florence - September 11, 2013 - One cell in one billion: the new Italian technology for attacking cancer


Real hope in identifying new tools in the fight against cancer. Menarini has completed its acquisition of Silicon Biosystems which has patented DEPArray ™, the first technology of its kind that is able to automatically isolate rare single cancer cells in blood while keeping them intact, alive and capable of reproducing themselves by using the principles of dielectrophoresis that enables the study of characteristics that up to now have never been revealed. The agreement with Menarini will permit Silicon Biosystems to accelerate its research and to make available new and even personalized therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

Giuseppe Giorgini, President and CEO of Silicon Biosystems: “he worsening of tumor-related diseases is determined by the onset of metastases originating from cells in circulation. The possibility of accessing circulating tumor cells (CTC) with a simple blood test provides the unique opportunity to follow the tumor’s evolution. In the blood of cancer patients, CTCs are present by a ratio of 1 per every 1 billion healthy cells. Thanks to Silicon Biosystem’s patented technologies, it is now possible to isolate single tumor cells present in the blood, analyze their biological characteristics which are often different from those of a primary tumor, and study the most appropriate and personalized therapeutic solutions.“

While Silicon Biosystems will remain a stand-alone company, it will benefit from the many synergies with the other companies of the Menarini Group, and especially with the researchers who are already working on international research projects aimed at developing innovative drugs in the oncology field.

“Once again we have decided to invest in research of the highest quality in Italy,” explains Alberto Giovanni Aleotti, Vice President of the Menarini Group, “within the framework of a system that we are sure will give us great results. In a moment such as this when the brain drain and lack of competitiveness in our country are important issues, we are very happy to take part in an initiative that moves in the opposite direction.