Source: Nonwarit/Getty Images
Source: Nonwarit/Getty Images

Interpace Diagnostics said today it has launched a research collaboration with Viatar CTC Solutions focused on detecting and characterizing early cancer in liquid biopsies.

The collaboration—whose value was not disclosed—will apply Viatar's novel circulating tumor cell collection technology in combination with Interpace’s marketed PancraGEN™ assay, designed to help assess indeterminate pancreatic cancer biopsies in patients with pancreatic cysts.

PancraGEN is a pancreatic cyst molecular test that is designed to assess risk for pancreatic cancer through a small sample of pancreatic cyst fluid. PancraGEN is 90% accurate, according to clinical studies cited by Interpace, enabling effective risk stratification of patients.

Interpace said preclinical studies are being designed to identify patients most likely to develop pancreatic cancer in the near future, as well as to detect pancreatic cancer at its earliest stage of development.

These studies are expected to take place over the next six months and may lead to early diagnostic testing and assessment for patients with pancreatic diseases and/or for those predisposed to that form of cancer, Interpace added.

“We are hopeful of providing early detection, prognosis, and disease monitoring by way of liquid biopsies for pancreatic cancer at its earliest stage of detection,” Interpace president and CEO Jack E. Stover said in a statement.

PancraGEN is one of Interpace’s three commercialized molecular tests. The other two are ThyGenX®, which uses a next generation sequencing assay toward diagnosis of thyroid cancer from thyroid nodules; and ThyraMIR®, which uses a gene expression assay toward the same diagnosis.

Viatar CTC is developing the Viatar® Oncopheresis System, designed to remove circulating tumor cells from liters of whole blood based on a filtration method using size and stiffness. Pending regulatory approval, the system is envisioned for use as a periodic, dialysis-like therapy for pancreatic and other solid tumor types such as lung, breast, colon, prostate, and gastric cancers. The technology also drives the company's liquid biopsy products.

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