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Lucence, Waseda University Partner to Develop Laser-Based Liquid Biopsy Platform

NEW YORK – Lucence said on Wednesday that it has partnered with Japan-based Waseda University to develop a rapid laser-based liquid biopsy platform to image circulating tumor cell (CTCs) and clusters in a patient's blood sample.

As part of the agreement, Singapore-based Lucence will build a circulating cell atlas, where CTCs and cell clusters can be analyzed with proprietary deep learning algorithms for further cancer insights. The partners believe the platform, which captures high resolution images of CTCs and clusters, has potential applications in early cancer detection and disease monitoring.

Lucence has secured exclusive licenses from Waseda University and Singapore's Agency of Science, Technology, and Research to support the platform's development, with plans to commercialize the liquid biopsy platform at Lucence's CLIA-licensed laboratory in Palo Alto, California.

Financial details of the agreement were undisclosed.

"Identifying [CTCs} using conventional biomarkers often lead to false-negative results," Kenji Yasuda, a professor at Waseda University, said in a statement. "With Lucence, we visualize the end product to be an easy-to-use diagnostic platform for rapid and automated detection of [CTCs] and cell clusters in liquid biopsies."

Lucence is currently developing its LiquidHallmark liquid biopsy assay, which combines molecular barcoding and the firm's SunTzu.AI clinical analytics engine to detect cancer-related mutations and viral targets.