DeNovo Sciences announced a collaborative research agreement with START (South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics) a San Antonio based Phase I medical oncology program, one of the world’s largest of its kind with clinical trial sites on three continents. According to the deal, START will collect blood from cancer patients and use DeNovo instruments and reagents for circulating tumor cells (CTC) enrichment and purification. The enriched CTCs will then be sent to a large genomics lab for whole genome sequencing. In addition, START and DeNovo have signed a separate agreement to test the ability of Denovo CTC platform to capture CTCs for use in patient derived xenograft (PDX) mice models for drug discovery and biomarker development purposes.
CTCs are cells that have detached from the primary tumor and shed into the bloodstream. They have been implicated in the spread of cancer or metastasis. CTCs also harbor molecular and genetic information about the tumor, which could allow physicians to detect changes in the cancer’s behavior and drug susceptibility through a simple blood test. DeNovo Sciences offers a fully automated CTC detection system that has the ability to analyze biomarkers at the single cell level. Molecular and genetic analysis of a cancer is crucial to developing a personalized treatment plan.
“The combination of two of the most exciting innovations in cancer diagnostics: liquid biopsy and next gen sequencing (NGS), has the potential to change the paradigm of personalized therapy development.” said Dr. Kalyan Handique, CEO of DeNovo Sciences. He added, “We are proud to be in partnership with an amazing organization whose worldwide Phase I oncology program is accelerating the development of new anticancer drugs that will improve the quality of life and survival for patients with cancer.”
“Obtaining tumor tissue for genome sequencing and molecular profiling remains a considerable problem. Invasive tumor biopsies put patients at risk of complications as well as being painful. This collaboration between START and DeNovo, we hope, will solve this by obtaining sufficient circulating tumor cells for whole genome sequencing and may be transformative as we try to meet the promise of precision medicine,” said Dr. Anthony Tolcher, Director of Clinical Research for START.