Epic Sciences partners with University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center on cancer therapy discoveries through liquid biopsy.

Epic Sciences, Inc. announced today a collaboration with the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) on multiple studies to explore biomarkers, identified by analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) at a single cell resolution, that are predictive of response to personalized cancer therapeutics.

“Successful treatment of cancer depends on understanding the heterogeneity of the patient’s tumor burden and the driving genetic alterations behind disease progression,” said Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., president and CEO of Epic Sciences. “Research conducted at the Abramson Cancer Center will enable faster development of novel personalized treatments that are able to address this heterogeneity.”

The Epic Sciences “no cell left behind” CTC detection and characterization platform is used to quantify the proteomic and genomic changes that accumulate in tumor cells over time and in response to successive rounds of therapy. Following a simple blood draw, the Epic Sciences platform can detect all categories of CTCs in the blood and identify, on a single cell basis, subpopulations of metastatic cancer cells that may be resistant or susceptible to cancer therapeutics. Currently, other technologies exclude many CTCs that do not adhere to assumptions about size or surface markers, which precludes a comprehensive view of the heterogeneity among a patient’s tumor cells that may affect therapeutic response. The Epic Sciences platform has an unbiased detection approach in which all nucleated cells are analyzed.

The research teams at the Abramson Cancer Center, a leader in the liquid biopsy field for cancer detection, will use Epic Sciences’ CTC detection and analysis platform to explore the heterogeneity of a diversity of cancer types, with a focus on genomic and phenotypic markers that help to better understand the utility of existing therapies and potential new drugs.

“Cancer is a complex, heterogeneous disease in which both genotype and phenotype change throughout progression,” said Erica Carpenter, MBA, Ph.D., Director of the Circulating Tumor Material Laboratory and Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Penn. “We therefore need to utilize the most innovative technologies that allow us to study disease resistance.”

Epic Sciences recently announced its platform’s capability to subject a single CTC to both proteomic and genomic analyses, including deep sequencing of known cancer genes. The approach enables further precision to help evaluate early signs of drug resistance that could potentially influence therapy selection, including the use of combination therapies.

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.

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