If you are presently living with cancer or are in the business of treating it, Epic Sciences can now offer you something as precious as hope: greater certainty. Certainty that doctors can make correct decisions at pivotal points in treating that cancer. Our proof is Epic’s AR-V7, a predictive test so sensitive and precise that it determines with unrivaled certainty how cancer cells will respond to a given therapy; it is, in fact, the world’s first predictive test for prostate cancer. Yet this minimally invasive test requires only a blood draw — not a tissue sample — making it easier for clinicians to administer and patients to tolerate.
These ground-breaking advances were possible because Epic took a research road less travelled.
Because the cell is the basic unit of all living things, we decided early on to focus on understanding how cancer cells emerge, mutate and remit — in other words, how cells respond to specific drugs. Studying single cells individually also seemed the most promising way to develop personalized treatments, based on a clearer picture of the disease within a patient.
From the start we embraced a radically different approach to research, characterized by best-of-class innovation, intellectual courage and a willingness to go wherever the data took us. Hungry to see the true nature of cancer, we swept aside conventional wisdom, clinical biases and trials with preconceived end points. We would be doggedly data-driven, even though that adherence to pure research might disadvantage us strategically or financially. Our vision of how precision medicine might better peoples’ lives was simply too compelling to play it safe.
The team we assembled shares that vision passionately.
Understanding the dynamics of cancer at a cellular level requires the close collaboration and cross-pollination of chemists, biologists, big-data crunchers, clinical researchers, software and imaging engineers, and pattern-recognition specialists who can characterize the many shapes that cancer takes.
We sought the same zeal in our partners, who now include dedicated clinicians at the best genome-oncology departments in the country, 48 pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners, and 35 academic partners including the National Cancer Institute. And from the renowned Scripps Research Institute we obtained an exclusive license for the technology at the heart of Epic’s rare-cell detection engine — an engine of discovery so powerful and precise that it can discern one cancer cell among 50 million normal blood cells. With this relentlessly incisive technology, we hope that someday cancer will have met its match.
But we’re not stopping there.
Having seen what our rare-cell detection technology can do, we’re confident that it has the potential to revolutionize not only cancer treatment but testing and treatment for other diseases as well. There’s so much yet to be done, but we’re constantly reminded that science’s greatest advances are never done in isolation. Daily we are buoyed by the community we serve: our biopharma partners, colleagues at great research institutes and, ultimately, physicians and patients whose courage inspires us every step of the way.