Two Pore Guys has announced that the company is now collaborating with oncologists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to evaluate its handheld nanopore-based platform in the detection of cell-free, circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from patient liquid biopsies. The study, conducted by Andrew Ko, MD, will focus on detecting the KRAS G12D mutation among ctDNAs obtained from patient blood and urine samples. If successful, the new device could be a revolutionary way to monitor patients for the recurrence of cancer from home on a daily basis.
Liquid biopsy is already a widely-used tool to assist in treatment decision making in metastatic lung cancer. It is also an emerging approach to facilitate the diagnosis and potentially the monitoring of other cancers, offering the promise of less invasive testing of tumor DNA using an easily attainable biological sample, such as blood or urine.
2PG’s handheld platform is composed of a battery-operated reader device and disposable test strips containing reagents and solid-state nanopore chips that detect individual molecules, one by one. “2PG’s platform is ideal for applications like liquid biopsy, because it is portable, simple and inexpensive enough to be used by anyone, anywhere,” said Dan Heller, the company’s CEO.
“Cancer recurrence is a constant battle, and treatment is a race against time,” said Dr. Ko, who is a Professor of Hematology/Oncology and a specialist in gastrointestinal cancer at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. “The sooner we can detect a recurrence, the sooner we can change or augment a patient’s therapy and improve his or her chances of survival.”
“We have high hopes for liquid biopsy as an important tool in the future of cancer treatment,” he added. “The ability to accurately monitor mutations using a simple and inexpensive device could improve the quality of care we can provide while significantly reducing healthcare costs, for example, by more quickly moving patients off expensive drugs that are no longer effective.”
For this collaboration, 2PG will concentrate ctDNA from the patient samples using existing extraction kits, though the company is developing an integrated solution. While 2PG made the reagents for its liquid biopsy assay, it is a proof-of-concept test. The company manufactures devices and test strips, but does not intend to go to market with its own assays. 2PG’s core IP defines how to make reagents that work with third-party diagnostic chemistries, thereby allowing industry partners to adapt existing assays and to enter new markets on 2PG’s platform.
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