NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Santa Cruz, California-based Two Pore Guys said today that it is collaborating with oncologists at the University of California, San Francisco to develop a liquid biopsy assay. The UCSF team plans to evaluate Two Pore Guys' handheld nanopore platform for detecting circulating tumor DNA, and specifically, for detecting a KRAS mutation from blood and urine samples.
Andrew Ko, a professor of hematology and oncology and gastrointestinal cancer specialist at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, will lead the study.
"We have high hopes for liquid biopsy as an important tool in the future of cancer treatment," Ko said in a statement. "The ability to accurately monitor mutations using a simple and inexpensive device could improve the quality of care we can provide while significantly reducing healthcare costs, for example, by more quickly moving patients off expensive drugs that are no longer effective."
Two Pore Guys is developing a handheld device that uses a nanopore as a sensor. The firm expects the device to have a number of applications in diagnostics, as well as the agricultural industry, and plans to collaborate with assay developers. Molecule detection relies on the use of synthetic probes to bind to the target of interest.
The "platform is ideal for applications like liquid biopsy, because it is portable, simple, and inexpensive enough to be used by anyone, anywhere," Dan Heller, the firm's CEO, said in a statement.