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News Release
November 9, 2015
Contact: Jill DeCoste
Phone: +1 978-715-4670

EMD Millipore Launches Novel Cancer Stem Cell Identification Kit, Exclusively Licensed from Johns Hopkins University
  • New AldeRed™ Detection Kit labels cancer stem cells expressing the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme marker with red fluorescence, allowing concurrent use of green fluorescent reporters
  • EMD Millipore has exclusive license to this technology for research reagent sales and services
  • Ideal for cancer and stem cell researchers previously limited to detecting ALDH-positive cells with green fluorescent label

Billerica, Massachusetts, November 9, 2015 — EMD Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today introduced the new AldeRed™ ALDH Detection Kit for identifying and isolating cancer stem cells.

EMD Millipore has entered into an exclusive license with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) to commercialize an innovative tool that provides cancer and stem cell scientists with new capabilities for live cell isolation and characterization. The AldeRed™ reagent is used to label cancer stem cells with a red fluorescent dye, making it possible to distinguish cancer stem cells in live cell populations where specific identification was previously impossible.

ALDH, a cancer stem cell marker enzyme, causes the AldeRed™ reagent to fluoresce in the far-red spectrum, allowing the cells to be identified and isolated with concurrent use of green fluorescent cell lines, transgenic animals and reporter assays. Previous ALDH reporters exhibited green fluorescence, which made it difficult to identify positive cells in an otherwise green fluorescent background. EMD Millipore and JHU researchers presented data using the AldeRed™ reagent at the 2015 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, where attendees expressed great interest in the technology. Research on the tool was also published in the journal Nature Communications.*

“To support the search for cancer’s cure, it is EMD Millipore’s responsibility to seek the most innovative technologies being developed by groundbreaking researchers and make these tools accessible to scientists globally,” said Udit Batra, President and CEO of EMD Millipore. “Our agreement with Johns Hopkins University to commercialize the AldeRed™ technology is an exciting step toward fulfilling that possibility.”

EMD launched the AldeRed™ ALDH Detection Kit at the 2015 International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden.

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*Reference: Minn I, Wang H, Mease RC, Byun Y, Yang X, Wang J, Leach SD, Pomper MG. A red-shifted fluorescent substrate for aldehyde dehydrogenase. Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 23;5:3662. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4662. PubMed PMID: 24759454; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4063304.

About EMD Millipore
EMD Millipore is the U.S. Life Science subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. As part of the global Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, EMD Millipore offers a broad range of innovative, performance products, services and business relationships that enable our customers' success in research, development and production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug therapies. Through dedicated collaboration on new scientific and engineering insights, and as one of the top three R&D investors in the life science tools industry, the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, serves as a strategic partner to customers and helps advance the promise of life science. Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, the global business has around 10,000 employees, operations in 66 countries and 2014 revenues of €2.7 billion.

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Life Science and Performance Materials – and generated sales of € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day.

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