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Vortex Biosciences, BioView Collaborate on Identifying Clinical CTC Biomarkers

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Vortex Biosciences said today that it has entered a collaboration with BioView to develop an integrated workflow for identifying clinical biomarkers on circulating tumor cells.

Financial and additional terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

The firms said that they are integrating their technologies to create a workflow for the isolation and characterization of CTCs that provides clinical insights to physicians.

Vortex Biosciences' VTX-1 Liquid Biopsy System automates the isolation of CTCs directly from whole blood. It uses a microfluidic chip to trap and capture CTCs in microscale vortices based on their size and deformability, while removing red and white blood cells. The isolated CTCs can then be deposited on a specially designed glass slide for analysis, Vortex Biosciences said, adding that the CTCs adhere to the glass slide with high affinity, making it possible to characterize them using immunostaining or fluorescence in situ hybridization.

BioView’s Duet imaging system and CTC analysis algorithm automates identifying and analyzing CTC biomarkers on a glass slide. The firm developed its CTC analysis algorithm in collaboration with "leading cancer research centers worldwide," using cellular and biomarker signals to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of CTC detection and reduce analysis time, Vortex Biosciences said.

The integrated VTX-1 and BioView workflow is being used in several clinical studies focused on CTC enumeration, ALK FISH rearrangements, and PD-L1 expression on CTCs, the firms said.

They noted that PD-L1, in particular, has been a focus of the collaboration because of its potential clinical benefits.

Overexpression of PD-L1 is a pathway used by metastatic tumor cells to evade immune detection, and PD-L1 expression levels in tumor biopsies are used to stratify patients that could respond better to immunotherapy treatments. Vortex and BioView said that they believe measuring expression on CTCs can offer "more clinical value," as it enables monitoring the cancer over time "in a cost-effective, low-risk manner."

They have developed an assay that enables researchers to assess the presence of PD-L1 on CTC surfaces. They expect that the assay will be used to perform initial diagnoses and then to monitor changes in PD-L1 expression during treatment leading to "more targeted therapeutic treatment."