Firms claim microfluidics-based system will provide early indicator of drug response.

LabCorp negotiated rights to market cancer diagnostics firm On-Q-ity’s circulating tumor cell (CTC) platform to the biopharma industry for use in cancer drug discovery and development applications. The firm claims its microfluidic chip-based system is capable of accurately finding and characterizing CTCs in blood, for use in monitoring the effectiveness of new therapies, stratifying patients appropriate for inclusion in clinical trials, and providing an early indicator of treatment effectiveness.

“On-Q-ity’s ‘liquid biopsy’ technology, with its strong capture capabilities, will allow LabCorp to offer our clients insight into tumor growth and regression much earlier in the clinical trial process without requiring invasive tissue biopsies,” claims Andrew Conrad, Ph.D., LabCorp CSO.

On-Q-ity is developing cancer diagnostic products based on both its CTC platform and expertise in DNA repair biomarkers that predict treatment response. In November 2010 the firm was awarded $978,000 in grants under the U.S. Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project to progress its diagnostic technologies in breast, lung, and other cancers.

CTC technology was in the news again last week, when Veridex announced it was teaming up with the Massachusetts General Hospital to develop a next-generation benchtop version of its CTC technology that could be used a diagnostic tool for therapeutic decision making as well as for drug discovery and development applications.

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