The initial results of a study to demonstrate the capability of the Ikoniscope20 rare cell detection platform to enumerate specific populations of CD8 T cells. Such antigen-specific CD8 T cells are extremely rare, and are a perfect proof of demonstration of the ability to detect rare cells in general, and circulating tumor cells in particular. Antigen-specific T cells play a central role in immunity to cancers and infectious agents (such as viruses), through their capacity to kill malignant cells upon recognition by T-cell receptor of specific antigenic peptides presented on the surface of target cells. In this study, the two teams were able to identify about 80 antigen-specific T cells in a background of over a million blood cells by high-speed scanning for the presence of cells positive for fluorescently labelled MHC I-peptide complexes that bind to a T cell antigen-receptor. The study was carried out in collaboration with the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Medicine.
Prof. Pramod K. Srivastava, Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center (who also serves on the Board of ALIKO), commented, “Detection and enumeration of cancer antigen-specific T cells in a reliable and reproducible manner is always challenging. These early results shall serve as a foundation of the use of this technology in monitoring immune responses to cancers in pre-clinical as well as clinical studies.”
Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, Chief Scientific Officer of Ikonisys, added, “We are honored to be working with a leading medical center to demonstrate the potential of the Ikonisys platform in the detection and quantification of specific populations of clinically relevant cells in immuno-oncology. The study further validates the value of the Ikonisys platform for the detection and analysis of specific populations of rare cells present in complex specimens, an approach likely to have particular value in the current era of personalized and predictive medicine.”
London/UK, New Haven, CT/USA & Milan/Italy – May 26, 2021 – Ikonisys Inc., a cell-based diagnostic company located in New Haven, Connecticut, USA and Milan, Italy and Dr Ehsan Ghorani of Imperial College, London announced today a partnership agreement to utilize the technological capabilities of the Ikoniscope20 Diagnostic Platform in two major areas: The monitoring of tumor cells in the circulating blood and other bodily fluids, as an aid in the clinical management of specific cancers and the incorporation of automated reading of cellular morphology to improve upon existing clinical diagnosis of common medical conditions; including infectious diseases, cardiovascular and connective tissue disorders.
Dr. Ehsan Ghorani of Imperial College, London, commented, "We are keen to begin using the Ikoniscope® platform. Together with Ikonisys, we aim to take this opportunity to utilize our combined expertise to both improve on clinical diagnosis of common medical conditions and to utilize the platform’s rare cell detection capabilities to deliver optimal care management to cancer patients.”
Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, Chief Scientific Officer of Ikonisys, added, “We are proud to cooperate with a leading medical center in developing innovative approaches for the diagnosis of disease and the monitoring and management of cancers. This partnership offers the opportunity to further clinically validates our Ikoniscope® technology and coincides with the launch of our second-generation system. The cooperation also enables us to further expand Ikonisys’ product portfolio into areas such as infectious disease and strengthens our commitment in the world of oncology and the clinical application of circulating tumour cell analysis, to continuously improve patient treatment.”
About Dr Ehsan Ghorani MD PhD: Dr Ehsan Ghorani is an immunologist and senior registrar in Medical Oncology. He is currently a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow in the lab of Sergio Quezada at the UCL Cancer Institute. He is widely published and his research has, in particular, contributed to the mechanistic understanding of cancer immune evasion and sensitivity, resulting in globally practice-changing advances in patient management.
Ikonisys, Inc and Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut wish to undertake activities to further validate the Ikonisys automated fluorescence microscopy platform for the detection, enumeration and analysis of rare cells. The ability of the platform to detect and quantify specific populations of cells, based on the presence of specific combinations of markers has clinical potential in a number of areas. In particular, the work will evaluate the clinical potential of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in cancer patients, Additionally, the collaboration will evaluate the potential of the Ikonisys platform in the detection and quantification of specific populations of cells in immuno-oncology and infectious disease.
The collaborating parties will engage in activities regarding the application of the Ikonisys platform for the detection and analysis of specific populations of rare cells present in complex specimens, an approach is likely to have particular value in the current era of personalized and predictive medicine. The activities will utilize the latest version of the Ikonisys automated fluorescence microscope; the Ikoniscope20. The recently introduced Ikoniscope 20 represents a significant advance from the original Ikoniscope, integrating the advances that have been made in optical, mechanical, and IT technologies. The platform also features updated application software, improving both the speed and sensitivity of cell detection and analysis.
Rare Cell Detection and Analysis
Ikonisys and Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut are pursuing collaborative research in order to evaluate Ikonisys’ automated fluorescence microscopy platform for enumeration and analysis of rare cells. In this multi-part effort, Drs.Kilpatrick (Ikonisys) and others (NCCC) are identifying rare T cells (that recognize a given MHC-peptide complex) in mice immunized with a specific antigen. The approach is utilizing the ability of the Ikonisys platform to analyse large numbers of cells (more than a million per slide) for the enumeration of rare cells based on the presence of a specific combination of markers. This effort will allow us to precisely quantitate the limits of detection of the Ikonisys' platform. The learning from these studies shall be used not only to detect rare circulating cancer cells in cancer patients but also other types of potentially clinically useful rare cells in human circulation.
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.
Ikonisys has signed an agreement with Hub Innovazione Trentino (HIT), Bruno Kessler Foundation, Department of Industrial Engineering of University of Trento and Trentino Sviluppo in order to collaborate on the development of a novel instrument.
The various parties will bring their contribution, granting expertise in all areas of industrial engineering, including mechatronics, materials engineering, electronic and micro-electronic systems, as well as outstanding software engineering.
This agreement is part of Ikonisys' strategy to continue to develop state-of-art diagnostics instruments, always looking at innovative solutions to bring to the market.
A collaboration agreement was signed between Ikonisys, ImpactLab, 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.