ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Zomedica Pharmaceuticals Corp., a veterinary pharmaceutical and healthcare solutions company, recently announced it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with Celsee Diagnostics Inc., a fellow Michigan-based company and innovator of human health products in the emerging field of liquid biopsy. The agreed-upon research project will test the feasibility of utilizing Celsee’s liquid biopsy technology in veterinary application as a canine cancer diagnostic tool.
A liquid biopsy is a test done on a sample of blood to look for cancer cells from a tumor that are circulating in the blood or for pieces of DNA from tumor cells that are in the blood, and may be used to help find cancer at an early stage. Circulating tumor cells, commonly referred to as CTCs, are cells that have shed from a primary tumor into neighboring blood vessels and are transported throughout the body’s circulatory system. The detection of CTCs in the blood could indicate a cancer diagnosis without the need for an invasive tissue biopsy.
Liquid biopsies may also be used to help plan treatment or to find out how well treatment is working or if cancer has come back. Being able to take multiple samples of blood over time may also help doctors understand what kind of molecular changes are taking place in a tumor. The commercially available Celsee CTC test is a fast and effective blood test with results available within four hours. Celsee’s proprietary platform enables capture and analysis of cancer cells, and obviates the need for painful, surgical biopsies by a simple blood test.
Should the test prove effective in detecting cancer in dogs, it would be revolutionary in the field of veterinary medicine, and could open up new areas of understanding in cancer overall.
“Canine cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed diseases in the veterinary clinic,” Dr. William MacArthur, chief medical officer at Zomedica, said in a press release. “It is difficult, expensive and often times impractical for veterinarians to diagnose some cancers in a non-invasive manner. As such, veterinarians are frequently required to make treatment recommendations to pet owners based on incomplete patient information.”
Concurrent to this research project, Zomedica filed a provisional application for patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in support of its research and development efforts specific to canine cancer diagnostics. The provisional patent is based on Zomedica’s identification of novel canine biomarkers for diagnosing canine cancers.
Zomedica is a veterinary pharmaceutical and healthcare solutions company targeting products for companion animals (canine, feline and equine) that is building a diversified portfolio of products comprised of the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative drugs alongside novel drug delivery systems, devices and diagnostics.
Celsee Diagnostics develops automated systems for rare CTC enrichment and single-cell analysis through precise, accurate, and reliable platform for research and clinical diagnostics development.