SOURCE: ApoCell, Inc.

ApoCell, Inc.

May 28, 2015 11:52 ET

Liquid Biopsy Studies Using ApoStream® CTC Technology for Evaluating Patients With Breast Cancer or Renal Cell Carcinoma

HOUSTON, TX--(Marketwired - May 28, 2015) - ApoCell, Inc., announces exciting discoveries using ApoStream® technology for the enrichment of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients, advancing the application of liquid biopsy approaches for personalized medicine. One study is being presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO, in Chicago, May 29th to June 2nd, and is a collaboration between ApoCell and MD Anderson and entitled "EpCAM-Independent Isolation of EMT-Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients with Primary Breast Cancer Who Receive Primary Systemic Therapy." The poster will be shown on Sunday, May 31st in the Tumor Biology Session, 8:00-11:30am, Poster #246. It describes ongoing work to determine the clinical relevance and feasibility of measuring endothelial mesenchymal transition (EMT)-CTCs in both early and late stage breast cancer patients. Although more patients need to be recruited into the study, preliminary results are encouraging. ApoStream® was successful in detecting EMT-CTCs in breast cancer patients and the expression of some EMT markers may be predictive of pathological clinical response. "Early results from our first patient cohort appear promising and we look forward to ongoing studies to better understand how evaluating EMT-CTCs might be predictive for primary breast cancer patients responding to primary systemic therapy," says Dr Naoto Ueno, Chief of Section of Translational Breast Cancer Research in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. His colleague and lead author on the poster, Dr Fanny Le Du, notes "This work is very important for us to learn more about the different CTC phenotype populations and their potential relevance to clinical response to therapeutic regimes."

The second study, entitled "Development Of A Novel Method For Detecting Renal Cell Carcinoma Circulating tumor cells," was presented as a moderated poster at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association held in New Orleans, LA from May 15-19th. ApoCell together with researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine developed a new method for detecting renal cell carcinoma CTCs using the ApoStream platform and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for loss of the VHLgene. The authors tested their assay in a cohort of 23 patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma and found detectable CTCs in 30% of patients. Dr Michael Gorin and Dr Kenneth Pienta, Professor of Oncology and Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, say, "We hope that the ApoStream approach which utilizes antibody-independent isolation with dielectrophoresis followed by FISH for VHL loss will realize its promise as a method for CTC detection in patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma." Dr Gorin's group aims to validate this assay in a larger patient cohort as well as to correlate CTC counts with burden of disease and long-term oncologic outcomes."

ApoCell launched ApoStream® a CTC enrichment platform in 2014 for clinical research applications. The device works by exploiting unique characteristics of tumor cells, distinguishing them from healthy blood cells through the principles of dielectrophoresis (DEP) and microfluidics. ApoStream has been incorporated into more than 25 ongoing clinical trials, including the phase 3 BEACON trial with Nektar Therapeutics for breast cancer. Dr. Darren Davis, President and CEO of ApoCell, says, "This revolutionary technology has allowed us to capture rare cancer cells from the blood in lieu of tumor biopsies enabling researchers to better understand drugs in clinical trial development and enabling the company to develop CTC-based diagnostics for monitoring patient response to therapy." The ApoStream technology was licensed from MD Anderson, co-funded and co-developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and offers a unique combination of impressive capabilities which can be applied to multiple cancer types including 1) the isolation of viable cancer cells for subsequent culture and animal modeling, 2) universal enrichment of many rare cancer cell subtypes, and 3) high recovery or purity enabling downstream proteomic and genomic molecular characterization. For more information go to www.apostream.com.

About ApoCell

ApoCell, based in Houston, TX, is a molecular biomarker company offering clinical research services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, government and academia translational medical groups. Spun out from MD Anderson in 2004, the company is a leader in pharmacodynamic analysis, notably using cells from the blood including circulating tumor cells "CTCs", circulating endothelial cells (CECs) and stem cells, boasting a clinical trial pedigree and using customized biomarker design approaches for supporting clinical trials. ApoCell has a growing IP portfolio and proprietary customized platforms to create unique lab-developed tests for biomarker detection and analysis to determine the effects of drugs in clinical trials. The company's facilities are CLIA-certified and compliant with applicable FDA regulations. Since inception, the company has participated in over 150 Phase I-III clinical cancer drug trials for more than 90 sponsor clients worldwide. For more details visit www.apocell.com; www.apostream.com.

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