Cancer Genetics, Inc has announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance and partnership with ApoCell, the developer of ApoStream™, a breakthrough, high-performance technology to detect, isolate and capture circulating tumor cells (CTC) and other rare cells without the need of labels or antibodies. ApoCell is a spin-out of globally recognized, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and licenses key technology used in ApoStream from MD Anderson Cancer Center. ApoCell co-developed the ApoStream technology in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) over a multi-year period, from 2010 through 2014, with initial commercial delivery in 2013.
The ApoStream technology has been incorporated into over 35 clinical trials, including trials for prostate, lung, breast, colon, pancreatic and renal cancers. In a recent global, Phase III, breast cancer trial, which involved 649 women the ApoStream™ technology was able to detect and analyze CTCs in over 97% of the women. In addition, ApoCell has been a pioneer in developing the technology for high volume capture of CTCs to enable precision medicine in the clinical setting. The companies will jointly work on clinical trial projects that support the liquid biopsy and CTC profiling needs in multiple trials for both targeted therapeutics and immuno-oncology.
In addition, the companies will evaluate applications for patient monitoring in lung, colorectal, breast and renal cancer where drug resistance and immune system changes can significantly impact patient response and outcome. The companies have already initiated joint projects where rare cell capture coupled with CGI's downstream, disease-specific profiling is a critical component to evaluating therapeutic effectiveness.
"The partnership with CGI will broaden the footprint and applications supported by our technology, and assist both of our customers on a global basis. Using the high-performance liquid biopsy and CTC approach to deepen our understanding of resistance mechanisms is a critical area for therapeutic improvement. Gaining more information from the samples taken during the clinical trial process is a key issue for all oncology research groups - and liquid biopsies enable more frequent, less costly and less invasive procedures. Leveraging CGI's expertise in genomic and immune marker profiling will add more value to the applications that are supported and validated for ApoStream™," said Darren Davis, Ph.D., President and CEO of ApoCell.
"ApoCell's technology and platform is exquisitely suited for capturing and enriching for both circulating tumor cells and immune cells simultaneously, without the need of labels or antibodies, which can compromise downstream data quality. The partnership will immediately begin to provide value to our biopharma customers and pave the road for high-performance applications for monitoring from liquid biopsy in critical cancer areas including renal, breast and in non-small cell lung cancer, which is one of our major areas of clinical volume," said Panna Sharma, CEO of Cancer Genetics.
Providing comprehensive and innovative capabilities for oncology therapeutic development and diagnostics are central to the CGI business model, and leveraging high performance platforms for the advancement of liquid biopsy is an area that the Company expects will further drive differentiation and revenue opportunities. Together, the two companies will leverage their respective expertise to accelerate market share of the nearly $30 billion US dollar emerging liquid biopsy market.