Today, MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For her work in the field of biotechnology and medicine, Epic Sciences' Dena Marrinucci, Ph.D., has been recognized as an entrepreneur on the list for her groundbreaking work in developing and advancing a new technology to unlock the promise of using a simple blood test, called a liquid biopsy, to manage cancer treatments.
The deadliest cancers consist of multiple cell types driven by different mutations. During the course of treatment and the disease, rare cells gain new mutations that confer resistance to a therapy. Undetected, these cells grow and evolve, resulting in metastatic cancers that are heterogeneous and difficult to treat. Dr. Marrinucci helped develop a new, unbiased, rare cell detection and analysis technology to address this urgent need.
By identifying and characterizing all types of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample, the no cell left behind® technology is designed to give real-time insight into how heterogeneous a patient's cancer is and how it is responding to treatment. In addition, this technology is being developed to include single cell analysis of genetic and proteomic aberrations to guide tailored and timely treatments, including combination therapies.
"We can not wait for cancer metastases to show on PET scans and imaging technologies to know when a therapy is not working," said Dr. Marrinucci, chief scientific officer of Epic Sciences. "CTC based testing holds the promise of delivering real-time therapeutic monitoring, whereas historical approaches do not have the needed sensitivity and reproducibility. We developed our novel technology because, to fight this disease, we need an accurate picture at any point in time of all the types of deadly cancer cells, down to the rarest ones that make up a patient's specific cancer; because you can't hit what you can't see."
Dr. Marrinucci co-founded Epic Sciences in 2008 to commercialize the technology. Today Epic Sciences has partnered with a number of pharmaceutical companies who have integrated the technology in conjunction with 50 different active clinical trials of drugs for specific cancers. Epic Sciences also works with top oncologists and cancer research centers around the world to bring the most advanced liquid biopsy technology to patients.
"Over the years, we've had success in choosing young innovators whose work has been profoundly influential on the direction of human affairs," said editor in chief and publisher Jason Pontin. "Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple. We're proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we're proud to add Dr. Dena Marrinucci to this prestigious list."
Read more about Dena on the MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35.
About Epic Sciences
At Epic Sciences, we develop clinically proven predictive tests to detect and monitor cancer at the individual cell level. With a proprietary rare-cell detection engine, we provide insights to clinical, biotech, pharmaceutical and academic teams on how cancer emerges, mutates and remits so they can make pivotal decisions at every point in patient treatment with greater certainty. Recognizing the unique nature of each person’s cancer, we offer truly personalized diagnostic tests, while being non-invasive for the patient.
We have developed the first clinically proven predictive test for metastatic castration-resistant prostrate cancer (mCRPC), the Epic AR-V7 test. Using the same rare-cell detection platform and Epic’s biobank of over 30,000 blood samples, each profiled with predictive biomarkers, we partner with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, major cancer centers, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pursue additional predictive tests for breast, ovarian, colon and other cancers and diseases. Our mission is to revolutionize cancer care and therapies to make them as precise, safe and life-sustaining as humanly possible.
For more information, visit epicsciences.com.
Epic Sciences Media Contact: Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., Little Dog Communications Inc., email@example.com,+1.858.344.8091