Collaboration with The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
News Sep 30, 2014
ANGLE plc has announced that it has signed a research agreement with the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University (“Jefferson”) in Philadelphia to investigate the clinical use of the Parsortix system in metastatic breast cancer patients.
The research collaboration will be led by Dr Massimo Cristofanilli, an internationally renowned breast cancer researcher and clinician, and Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals.
Dr Cristofanilli’s research aims to improve personalized medicine for breast cancer patients, focusing on molecular targeted agents, biomarkers and gene therapies. Dr Cristofanilli has been an acknowledged leader in the CTC field since 2004, when his study on CTCs was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. His study found CTCs to be a predictor of progression-free survival and overall survival in metastatic breast cancer patients, and was one of the first major studies on CTCs.
Dr Cristofanilli and his team are particularly interested in ANGLE’s Parsortix system for CTCs because it is antibody independent and offers easy harvesting of CTCs for molecular analysis, which may help guide treatment plans.
Initially Dr Cristofanilli and his team will be undertaking a pilot study of 40 patients with metastatic breast cancer, with three key objectives:
• To run in parallel blood samples in the existing in-market system and in the Parsortix system in order to compare the number and type of CTCs obtained with both systems, assessing whether the Parsortix system is able to capture cells of clinical relevance, such as mesenchymal cells, not captured by the existing in-market system.
• To compare results from the Parsortix system obtained at Jefferson with results from paired samples processed at ANGLE’s Philadelphia laboratories to assess reproducibility and concordance.
• To characterize CTCs harvested from metastatic breast cancer patients by the Parsortix system at the DNA level. Mutations identified in the CTCs (liquid biopsy) will be compared with mutations identified in the primary breast tissue (solid biopsy). Concordance between the two biopsies will be assessed and the results from the CTCs will be investigated to determine whether additional information of medical utility has been identified.
ANGLE is strongly focused on establishing the use of the Parsortix system in clinical practice. To achieve this, the top priority is the establishment of collaborations with key opinion leaders at world class research centres. These key opinion leaders are working to identify applications with medical utility (clear benefit to patients), and to secure 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.
Dr Massimo Cristofanilli, Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC) and Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals, commented: “There is now an important need to extend clinical work with CTCs to support personalized cancer care. ANGLE’s Parsortix system offers the potential for two important advances. Firstly it captures all the relevant types of CTCs and secondly it provides an efficient means to harvest the cells for analysis. We are hoping that this will enable us to progress clinical use of CTCs from enumeration to understanding the nature of the patient’s cancer at a cellular level allowing more targeted treatment.”
ANGLE Founder and Chief Executive, Andrew Newland, commented: “Dr Cristofanilli has been a pioneer in developing the clinical use of CTCs over the last ten years and we are delighted that he will be leading the research team working with our Parsortix system. Jefferson is a leading cancer research centre in the United States and we are delighted to be working with them and extending our key opinion leader programme in the region.”