VisionGate announced a collaboration with the Sheba Medical Center in Israel focused on evaluating the Arizona-based firm’s LuCED™ (lung cell evaluation device) test in conjunction with x-ray computed tomography screening for the detection of early lung cancer. The firm separately reported inking a collaboration with Greek researchers to evaluate the test as a primary screen in post-surgery lung cancer patients, and announced raising $2 million in the first tranche of an equity financing round that is projected to raise a total of $3 million.
The LuCED test is used in combination with the firm’s Cell-CT™ automated 3-D cell-imaging platform, which generates high-resolution biosignatures from intact cells in a sputum sample. Detected biosignatures are analyzed using a predictive analytics tool to indicate the presence or absence of cancer cells.
The initial indication for LuCED is as an adjunct to x-ray CT lung cancer screening, which, according to recently published data from the NCI’s National Lung Screening Trial, generates a high rate of false positive results when used alone. The collaboration between VisionGate and the Sheba Medical Center aims to evaluate whether LuCED, and other noninvasive techniques, can be used alongside x-ray CT to reduce the false-positive rate. The study will involve over 200 patients with pulmionary nodules detected by x-ray CT scans for whom the diagnosis remains unclear.
VisionGate says it has initiated separate LuCED evaluation collaborations with academic researchers, including a strategic partnership with investigators at the G. Papanikolaou General Hospital at Aristotle University in Greece, which will evaluate LuCED as a primary screening test in 200 lung cancer patients who have undergone surgery and are at risk of developing second primary cancers.
“We believe our strategy of establishing multiple collaborations to assess promising applications for the LuCED platform will provide us with important data and invaluable insight into the potential broad utility of this important new diagnostic technology," comments Scarlett Spring, VisionGate president.
VisionGate’s Cell-CT platform uses optical projection tomography to generates 3-D images of the internal architecture of cells suspended in fluid, to allow quantitative analysis of the in situ 3-D distribution of targeted molecular markers, stains, and other absorbing structures, at submicron resolution.