Tel Aviv/Israel, New Haven, CT/USA & Milan/Italy - November 14, 2019 – Sheba Medical Center, the largest hospital in the Middle East, which is based in metro Tel Aviv, Israel, and Ikonisys Inc., a cell-based diagnostic company located in New Haven, Connecticut, USA and Milan, Italy, announced today the signing of a partnership agreement for the development of novel proprietary Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) tests, targeting specific cancers. The tests and applications will be aimed at a variety of potential clinical purposes, including treatment monitoring (the detection of disease recurrence) and companion diagnostics. Ikonisys will play an integral role within Sheba's ARC innovation hub, which is accelerating and redesigning global healthcare through collaboration.
Prof. Iris Barshack, Head of the Institute of Pathology at Sheba Medical Center, commented, "We are excited to begin using the Ikoniscope® system provided by Ikonisys. Together, we aim to improve the detection of disease recurrence and clinically validate applications for various types of cancers while contributing to Sheba Medical Center’s mission to deliver excellent, highly innovative comprehensive diagnoses and care management to patients.”
Michael Kilpatrick, Chief Scientific Officer of Ikonisys, added, “We are proud to cooperate with one of the world's leading medical centers in developing innovative tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of cancers. This partnership validates our proprietary Ikoniscope® technology and coincides with the launch of our second-generation system. The cooperation also enables us to further expand Ikonisys’ product portfolio, strengthening our commitment in the world of CTCs to continuously improve cancer treatment.”
The circulating tumor cells detection test possesses the ability to detect, quantify, and analyze tumor cells in the blood of cancer patients. With application in determining disease status, rate of disease progression and predicting the likely efficacy of a particular therapy or treatment, CTC analysis has great potential to transform the cancer diagnostic landscape. However, it has been limited so far by the difficulty in finding these extremely rare cells, that can be as few as 10 out of millions in a typical 10ml blood sample. The automated scanning and analysis capabilities of the Ikoniscope® platform allow the efficient screening of a much larger number of cells than would be possible by manual analysis, allowing the identification and enumeration of CTCs in the blood of cancer patients with high sensitivity and specificity.
Sheba's research team, led by Prof. Iris Barshack, will identify and propose biomarker panels for specific cancers of particular interest that will be evaluated as potential new Ikoniscope® CTC tests. All available clinical data will be collected for the patient samples being tested, including, for example, other available liquid biopsy data. This will allow evaluation of the potential complementary nature of cell-based CTC tests, such as performed on the Ikoniscope®, for characterization of individual tumor cells, compared to circulating DNA-based tests that provide global tumor genotype information.
A research contract was signed between Ikonisys and the Trentino, Italy industrial district.
A collaboration agreement was signed between Ikonisys, Impact Labs, Milan, Italy and Prof. Bruno Vincenzi, Oncology Department, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy. The agreement will facilitate the application of Ikonisys’ rare-cell analysis technology to the detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in sarcoma. Detection of CTCs has been proposed to have clinical significance as a prognostic or predictive marker in sarcoma and, as a measure of metastatic potential, could provide a way to target a patient population more likely to benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy.
Ikonisys has initiated a collaboration with Prof. Dr. Olga Golubnitschaja of the European Association for Predictive, Preventive & Personalised Medicine. The main concept of the collaborative project, which will involve partners in both the USA and Europe, is to create an innovative breast cancer predictive and diagnostic approach particularly useful for young women whose needs are not covered by currently existing screening programmes. The intention is to combine the elements of established expertise for the proof of principle model of new medical services to be offered to the populations. The project will highlight the potential clinical utility of the Ikonisys CTC detection technology in this patient population.
Ikonisys has joined the European Association for Predictive, Preventive & Personalised Medicine as an Institutional Member. The EPMA was founded in 2009 to cover particular deficits in medical sciences and healthcare. The main objective of the EPMA is to promote the paradigm change from delayed reactive medical services to evidence-based Predictive, Preventive & Personalised Medicine (PPPM) as an integrated science and healthcare practice. As an Institutional Member, Ikonisys will have the opportunity to contribute to this rapidly emerging field by virtue of the company’s rare cell analysis platform.
Ikonisys presented “Detection and Analysis of Circulating Tumour Cells in Small Cell Lung Cancer Utilizing a Flexible Rare Cell Scanning Platform” at the EPMA World Congress 2017 'Predictive, Preventive & Personalised Medicine'. The presentation outlined the application of the Ikonisys platform to detection and analysis of circulating tumour cells. The Abstract of the presentation was published in the EPMA journal (Kilpatrick MW, Kershnar ER, Borgerding RH, Robson P, Sivakamasundari V. EPMA J 2017; 8 (Suppl 1):S9-S10).
The result of a collaboration between Ikonisys and Dr. Upendra Hegde, UConn Health, Connecticut, USA, was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (Determination of the potential of detecting 3q gain as a valuable biomarker in the management of patients with HPV associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma). The work demonstrated the ability of the Ikonisys platform to detect gain of the chromosomal 3q locus in cytological brushings from patients undergoing treatment for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, with the potential to have clinical utility in the management of such patients.