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NCI Awards Inspirata $3.15M to Develop Head and Neck Cancer Aggressiveness Predictor

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Inspirata today announced it has been awarded a five-year, $3.15 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a risk predictor of aggressiveness in head and neck cancer.

The tool will be based on digitized hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained pathology images alone, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said, adding it is sharing the award with its academic partner, Case Western Reserve University. Vanderbilt University's James Lewis and Cleveland Clinic's Shlomo Koyfman and David Adelstein are also collaborating on the award, which is in addition to $6.4 million in NCI grants that were awarded to the company and CWRU previously to develop digital pathology-based assays for breast and lung cancers.

"Our teams have been able to leverage recent advances in digital pathology and computational image analysis methods to develop predictive and prognostic assays for a growing number of assays," Insprirata Founder and Executive Vice President Mark Lloyd said in a statement. By using such assays to assess the aggressiveness of a patient's disease signature, those with less aggressive cancers can avoid treatments such as chemotherapy. "Once commercialized, our assays could offer patients the option to receive less expensive and less harmful therapies knowing their risk is lower," he said.

Inspirata said it has licensed whole-slide image-related technology for breast cancer prognosis and will develop them in conjunction with its quality management system and software production standards to create precommercial companion diagnostic tests. It will then build a regulatory pathway to launch the technology in the US and elsewhere.

Earlier this year, Inspirata acquired Omnyx from GE Healthcare, enabling it to deliver an in vitro diagnostic device for primary diagnosis in Europe and Canada.