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Capsulomics, Johns Hopkins Partner on Esophageal Cancer, Barrett's Esophagus Research

NEW YORK – Startup Capsulomics and Johns Hopkins University announced on Tuesday a partnership on a clinical research study to detect esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus (BE).

Funded by a five-year, $3.7 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded in August 2018, the group plans to commercialize an assay that it believes is cheaper and less invasive than standard upper endoscopies.

BE normally develops when mucosal cells lining the lower section of the esophagus abnormally develops in patients. However, clinicians only identify BE by using invasive endoscopy and examining tissue from the space with a tissue biopsy.

Founded by CEO Daniel Lunz and Stephen Meltzer, a gastroenterology and hepatology professor at JHU, Capsulomics has developed a technology that integrates a sponge-based collection tool and a methylated-bead PCR method to detect BE.