By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
San Diego-based Biocept will collaborate with the University of California at Irvine to study differences in biomarkers in blood-based specimens versus invasive tissue samples.
The intent, officials say, is to be able to more extensively use liquid biopsies to help connect patients with metastatic cancer to targeted therapies.
Liquid biopsies are being pushed by laboratories and some other biotech firms as an alternative to invasive tissue biopsies, which for patients who are suffering lung or liver cancer can be painful and even require general anesthesia.
Biocept has developed blood-based detection of circulating tumor DNA for melanoma, gastric, breast and non-small cell lung cancer. The company is developing tests for colorectal, prostate and other solid tumors in the near term.
"We expect that our collaboration with the University of California, Irvine will provide further clinical validation for the use of Biocept’s liquid biopsy biomarker assays in patients with advanced cancers, including metastatic lung cancer," said Veena Singh, M.D., a Biocept senior vice president in a statement. "Our ability to test for well-recognized and clinically validated biomarkers utilizing our liquid biopsy platform provides a great advantage to patients both in monitoring and at the time of diagnosis when tumor tissue may be insufficient for additional testing or for therapy alteration due to the well-documented issue of tumor heterogeneity."
No financial terms or specifics of the collaboration were immediately disclosed.