The spread of cancer – called “metastasis” – is responsible for the overwhelming majority of cancer-related death. Metastatic disease is a highly complex series of events that involves: 1) cancer cells leaving their primary site to enter the bloodstream, 2) surviving in circulation, and 3) exiting the bloodstream at distant sites to colonize new tumors. Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) represent the rare tumor sub-population that successfully completes these events, and thus play a critical role in tumor dissemination. Although knowledge of their existence dates back to the early 19th century within the oncology community, the in-depth study of CTCs and other circulating cancer-associated cells have been severely limited due to their rarity, occurring in as few as 1-2 CTCs per billion of non-tumor blood cells. Thus, the development of technologies to sensitively and specifically enrich CTCs for enhanced research and clinical utility is in high demand.
Circulogix Inc is a liquid biopsy company that aims to bring innovative solutions for rare cell enrichment and characterization to the market. Where other platforms for rare cell enrichment employ affinity-based strategies to distinguish malignant, and other cells of interest from non-tumor blood cells, our proprietary sized-based enrichment technologies sensitively and reliably capture rare cells of interest in an “expression agnostic” fashion, such that the true heterogeneity of a patient’s disease can be preserved, analyzed and exploited for mechanistic study and improved patient management. Briefly, our device consists of: the FaCTChecker, an automated system for sample dilution, preservation and processing, and CyteCatch slides, specially engineered microscope slides containing our platform for rare cell enrichment. Once blood samples collected in the clinic have been processed by the FaCTChecker onto CyteCatch slides, CTCs and other rare cells of interest are available to a wide range of downstream applications for their morphologic, molecular, and functional characterization.
Our goals at Circulogix are two-fold:
- To provide research scientists with sophisticated tools in a user-friendly workflow to investigate and better understand the underlying mechanisms governing metastases and tumor cell dissemination.
- To empower clinicians with the ability to predict whether a course of treatment is suitable before treatment begins, monitor the efficacy of an on-going treatment in real-time, and expose new mechanisms of drug resistancefor novel therapeutics via CTC- and rare cell-based assays.
Since our inception, Circulogix has established a central laboratory facility at Converge Labs in Miami FL, and placed FaCTChecker devices in research campus locations across the United States and Europe, and has expanded use of its technology into several cancer types, including breast, prostate, lung, renal, bladder, hepatocellular, pancreatic, sarcoma, colo-rectal, and melanoma.
Biorep has played a critical role in the manufacturing and realization of our technologies at each step of their development; from concept, to prototype, to commercially available product. We have had constructive interactions with the leadership and staff at Biorep, who demonstrate exceptional technical competency, creativity, flexibility and professionalism. As Circulogix continues to expand its market presence in the molecular oncology and diagnostics space, we consider our working relationship with the Biorep team to be a vital and highly valued component of our continued growth and future success.