ANGLE plc has announced a collaboration with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to investigate the clinical use of ANGLE’s Parsortix system as a companion diagnostic in colorectal cancer.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is one of the world’s most respected centres devoted exclusively to cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson was created in 1941 as part of The University of Texas System. United States News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey has ranked MD Anderson as one of the nation’s top two cancer centres every year since the survey began in 1990. MD Anderson’s Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy is the largest programme in the world expediting the development of new cancer drugs.
The research collaboration is being led by Drs. Mien-Chie Hung, Vice President for Basic Research, and Chairman of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Scott Kopetz, Associate Professor, GI Medical Oncology and Shulin Li, Professor, Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
MD Anderson will recruit 50 metastatic colorectal cancer patients for the patient study, which is expected to report by the end of the year. Blood will be collected from each patient and processed using ANGLE’s Parsortix system. The harvested circulating tumour cells (CTCs) will be distributed to three different MD Anderson labs in pursuit of three key objectives:
• Investigation of key markers on the CTCs, which may act as a companion diagnostic to indicate which patients will benefit from the Merck Serono’s FDA approved drug Erbitux (Cetuximab). A successful outcome may lead to the use of a Parsortix blood test to help guide the treatment regime to be offered to colorectal cancer patients.
• Investigating the number of CTCs that have been through the EMT (epithelial mesenchymal transition) phase and are involved in the process of metastasis. Such mesenchymal CTCs cannot be effectively detected by antibody systems and the capability of the Parsortix system to harvest these CTCs for analysis may yield important clinical information on the process of metastasis leading to secondary cancers.
• Investigation of the potential to develop the capability to culture colorectal cancer CTCs harvested by the Parsortix system to provide a population of the patient’s cancer cells outside the patient for investigation, for example for chemosensitivity testing.
ANGLE is strongly focused on establishing the use of the Parsortix system in clinical practice. To achieve this, a top priority is the establishment of collaborations with key opinion leaders at world class translational research centres. These key opinion leaders are working to identify clinical applications with medical utility (clear benefit to patients), and to obtain clinical data that demonstrates that utility in patient studies. ANGLE believes this is the optimal approach for unlocking the multi-billion dollar worldwide market available to the Company and its potential strategic partners. The first such translational research patient study in ovarian cancer was completed by Medical University of Vienna in January 2015 and reported “unprecedented sensitivity and specificity”. This is now being developed as a clinical application for ovarian cancer.
ANGLE Founder and Chief Executive, Andrew Newland, commented: “We are delighted to be working with MD Anderson and Drs. Hung, Kopetz and Li to develop clinical applications using the Parsortix system as a companion diagnostic in the treatment of colorectal cancer patients.”