Epic Sciences Enters into Exclusive Licensing Agreement and Collaboration with USC Michelson Center to Advance Next-Generation Liquid Biopsy Technology for Precision Oncology

Enables expansion of Epic Sciences’ Liquid Biopsy CTC platform to inform cancer patient care

Epic Sciences, Inc. today announced it has entered into an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with Dr. Peter Kuhn and the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience. Dr. Kuhn is a founding member of the USC Michelson Center and leads USC’s Convergent Science Institute in Cancer (CSI-Cancer). The collaboration will improve Epic’s platform and enable more precise characterization of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs), which Epic is developing into liquid-biopsy diagnostics used for characterizing a patient’s cancer to guide treatment decisions.

Epic is a global leader in the identification and characterization of CTCs. Epic’s platform, originally licensed from Dr. Kuhn’s laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute, uses state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss optics coupled with AI-trained machine-vision algorithms to analyze blood treated with fluorescent antibodies. Epic’s platform provides unsurpassed sensitivity with the ability to detect one rare cell in ten million nucleated cells. Today Epic’s platform is used to make treatment decisions for patients with advanced prostate cancer marketed by Exact Sciences and is used in over 100 ongoing clinical trials of cancer therapeutics conducted by Epic’s corporate and academic research partners.

The Epic and USC Michelson partnership will give Epic exclusive access to the next generation, comprehensive liquid biopsy from Dr. Kuhn’s laboratory and expand Epic’s platform to provide in-depth characterization of both the cell-free fractions and CTCs in the liquid biopsy using genomic, proteomic and AI-based morphological tools, all from a single blood draw.

Rick Wenstrup, Chief Medical Officer, of Epic Sciences focused on the application of Epic’s enhanced platform in the monitoring of minimal residual disease (MRD) in cancer, “The ability to identify circulating neoplastic cells and cells from the tumor microenvironment, provides additional information critical to understanding the current state of a patient’s disease and offers the ability to monitor cancer status, and response to a specific therapy.”  

Epic plans to offer this next-generation CTC technology as part of its suite of Comprehensive Cancer Profiling™ technologies, that includes Epic’s ctDNA capabilities as a comprehensive solution designed to meet the growing needs of clinicians for precision medicine diagnostic tests and for pharmaceutical partners as they seek to develop life-changing therapies.

“We are excited about this collaboration with Epic Sciences intended to accelerate our goals towards improved cancer patient outcomes.” said Dr. Kuhn, adding that “It also advances Epic Sciences further towards a data science company”.

About Comprehensive Cancer Profiling

Epic Sciences’ Comprehensive Cancer Profiling provides a multi-technology approach to liquid biopsy from a single blood draw to complete several types of analyses. The Company leverages its exclusive license to technologies from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Southern California to drive its high-throughput proprietary CTC capabilities. The enrichment-free approach reveals both genotypic and phenotypic insights and minimizes the risk of CTCs being missed. By combining CTC technology with ctDNA and immune cell analysis we enable a comprehensive analysis that is both minimally invasive and highly accurate.

About Epic Sciences 

Epic Sciences, Inc. is developing novel diagnostics to guide therapy selection and monitor disease progression thereby personalizing and advancing the treatment and management of prostate and breast cancer. The company’s approach, Comprehensive Cancer Profiling, leverages proven and proprietary CTC capabilities, and adds ctDNA and immune cell analysis, to provide more complete data allowing more efficient analysis and clearer insights. The company’s CTC based diagnostic test, Oncotype DX AR-V7 Nucleus Detect® test, is the first and only Medicare reimbursed liquid biopsy for metastatic prostate cancer and is available to oncologists and urologists from Exact Sciences. Today Epic Sciences partners with leading pharmaceutical companies and major cancer centers around the world to improve patient outcomes by providing clinicians with efficient information to guide treatment plans. Epic Sciences is headquartered in San Diego. Further information is available on the company’s website, Stay in touch on LinkedIn, Facebook, or on Twitter @EpicSciences.

About USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience

The USC Michelson Center at University of Southern California is aimed at integrating patient, model system, and high-content single cell data to translate clinically observed correlations into a mechanistic understanding of the physical and biological underpinnings of cancer dynamics. The organizing framework of the physical dynamics of cancer at the lab will focus on the spatial distributions and temporal evolution of the disease at the cellular, human, and population scale. Innovation is driving forward our ability of studying circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of cancer patients as an approach to manage cancer care. Our single cell biology approach allows us to look at the morphology, proteome and genome of these CTCs. Collectively, this information permits an understanding of the disease in hopes of enabling personalized medicine in oncology.  Our effort is led by a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians across the nation. We have multiple ongoing clinical studies to explore the utility CTCs in different carcinomas.

“The Power of Clarity” is a registered trademark, and the stylized “e” and “Comprehensive Cancer Profiling” are trademarks of Epic Sciences, Inc. 

Media Contacts: 

CG Life – Bill Rader

USC Michelson Center for Convergent Biosciences – Peter Kuhn