News Release

Rockland introduces melanoma cell lines in collaboration with The Wistar Institute

Wistar's unique and prized human melanoma cell lines will be widely-available for researchers to better understand the complexity and disease progression of melanoma

Business Announcement

The Wistar Institute

Rockland-Wistar Collaboration

image: Meenhard Herlyn, D.V.M., D.Sc. (The Wistar Institute) and Carl Ascoli, Ph.D. (Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.) are shown. <a target="_blank"href=";">Watch the video</a>. view more 

Credit: Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc.

Limerick, PA.--(February 1, 2016)-- Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc. (Rockland) announces the availability of a new collection of human melanoma cell lines that have been developed and characterized over several decades in the laboratory of Meenhard Herlyn, D.V.M., D.Sc., Caspar Wistar Professor in Melanoma Research, Director of the Melanoma Research Center, and professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis Program at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. More than one hundred of these human melanoma cell lines will now be grown and exclusively distributed by Rockland. This new agreement results from a partnership between the institutions, which was announced in July 2015.

The collection represents a diverse panel of highly-characterized cell lines. Historically, a number of tumor model systems have lacked scientific value due to the limited characterization of genetic drivers, gene and protein expression, and in vitro/in vivo data. With these human melanoma cell lines, in vitro and in vivo modeling is brought into practice. The benefit of these established cell lines is that they were derived from patients' tumors and thus represent the natural heterogeneity of this disease.

In a multimedia video produced by Rockland, Herlyn describes the importance of the collection of human melanoma cell lines to best reflect the complicated and complex environment in which melanoma exists, to better analyze and determine the stages of melanoma progression and metastasis in patients, and to ultimately advance cancer research throughout the world.

"We need models because we cannot do everything in patients," said Herlyn. "We need to make sure that our models reflect what's going on in patients. That's why we have the cell lines, they are our work horses and without them we could not do what we do."

In the video, Herlyn and Carl Ascoli, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at Rockland, discuss innovative practices to recreate individual cells from a sample of a patient's original skin and the critical cell culture conditions and rigorous validation that Rockland performs to ensure their integrity.

"We are really excited to be able to bring such impactful products to the market," said Richard Smith, Chief Operating Officer at Rockland. "We take very seriously our responsibility to ensure the quality and integrity of all of our products. These human melanoma cell lines not only enhance cancer research by bridging the gap between patient and laboratory samples, but set the bar extremely high for more collaborations to come."


To learn more about Rockland's Melanoma Cell Lines, visit

Rockland Immunochemicals, Inc. supports the academic, biopharma, and diagnostic industries with antibodies and antibody based tools used in basic research, assay development, and preclinical studies. With facilities in Pennsylvania for over 50 years, Rockland manufactures products ideally suited for integration into critical assays such as western blotting, immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence microscopy (IF), ELISA and flow cytometry. Additional information about Rockland's life science tools and services can be found on Rockland's website at

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has held the prestigious National Cancer Institute Cancer Center designation since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. Wistar's Business Development team is dedicated to advancing Wistar Science and Technology Development through creative partnerships.

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