In their blood
Biocartis, Philips and Wellcome Trust to develop automated blood-based assay system for monitoring tumor load
LAUSANNE, Switzerland—Biocartis SA announced in late Maythat its researchers—in collaboration with researchers at the Hinxton,U.K.-based Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and at Eindhoven, theNetherlands-based Philips Research—are developing a novel workflow forextraction, amplification and detection of tumor DNA on Biocartis' diagnosticplatforms.
Although three parties are involved in the work, Biocartisreports that it will retain its full intellectual property rights, along withaccess to intellectual property created during the scope of this collaboration.
The partners believe that availability of this kind oftest—an automated blood-based assay system for monitoring tumor load—will havea major impact on personalizing the treatment of tumors, thus increasing thequality of clinical care and the quality of life for cancer patients.
"Individual decisions on treatment duration and intensitywill be in reach and ultimately, this could allow drugs to be targeted to onlythose patients who show meaningful response, reducing unnecessary side effectsand improving effectiveness," Biocartis noted in the news release about the deal.
Cancer is caused by the accumulation of genetic damage incells within a particular organ, Biocartis pointed out, adding that becausethese mutations are only found in the cancerous cells, they could be used tomonitor the tumor load during treatment and rapidly evaluate treatmentresponse.
"The system will use disposable, microfluidic cartridgeswith digitally encoded microparticles for the rapid and sensitive detection ofmultiple DNA samples. The test aims to be highly specific and sensitive, beingable to isolate and detect just a few molecules of tumor DNA per milliliter ofblood," said Dr. Patrick van den Bogaard, director of life science research atBiocartis, in an official statement. "To implement such tests in a real-worldhealthcare system requires development of fully automated, high-multiplexingdiagnostic instruments and technology, which is the core focus of Biocartis."
This is the first time Biocartis has collaborated withWellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Philips Research. Ultimately, the test theydesign is envisioned as being broadly applicable for all types of solid,metastatic tumors, according to Nader Donzel, chief technology officer atBiocartis and head of its DMAT business unit. DMAT, which stands for DynamicMulti-Analyte Technology, is the codename of Biocartis' Multiplex AssayPlatform, which enables accelerated development of multi-analyte assays,reduces time-to-result and hands-on time, and provides high-quality protein andnucleic acid-based biomarker analysis.
"From a timing perspective, this collaboration is wellplaced in the sense that as a company, you find yourself at a juncture—as weare now—where you feel that your technology offers significant advantages overexisting technology, but you don't have the full package of funding, data orsupport that you need," Donzel tells ddn."So, coming into this collaboration was an excellent way to demonstrate andvalidate Biocartis' claims of its technology and have access to patient samplesand expanded opportunities. For the other partners, it opens for them aclinical perspective that they cannot achieve with other technologies andoffers them a new way of looking at the solutions that can get them faster andbetter clinical data."