InfoGrok Pharma, a leading pharmaceutical news and industry intelligence website is reporting that Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) has been awarded a three-year, $3m grant from National Cancer Institute (NCI) under its SBIR Phase II Bridge Award.
This grant will support ACD’s continuing effort to develop its proprietary CTCscope system capable of automatic detection and molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). CTCs are the rare tumor cells detached from solid tumors and circulating in cancer patients’ blood.
In this latest grant, ACD will work with a multidisciplinary team from four leading institutions to further advance CTCscope into an automated system and conduct clinical studies to demonstrate its clinical utility.
According to ACD, collaborators include Paul Goodwin of Applied Precision, Hope Rugo and John Park of University of California San Francisco, David Krag of University of Vermont, and Charles Coombes of Imperial College London.
Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) said that its CTCscope system is based on its proprietary in situ RNA detection platform RNAscope, which enables highly sensitive and specific detection of all types of CTCs without the need for EpCAM-based enrichment.
The pharmaceutical industry news website reveals that importantly, CTCscope is the only technology that detects those CTCs still alive while circulating in cancer patients’ blood. These are the rare tumor cells that have the potential to metastasize to distant sites and thus are the targets of chemo- and targeted therapies.
CTCscope helps identify the molecular phenotypes of CTC’s for guiding treatment decisions and allows real time monitoring of therapy response.
Yuling Luo, president and CEO of ACD, said: “We are very grateful for the continued support from NCI. The previous Phase I and Phase II grants have helped ACD to develop the underlying RNAscope technology, which has since been translated successfully into Research Use Only products for in situ detection of RNA biomarkers in FFPE samples.”