By Lori Solomon, Editor, Diagnostic Testing & Emerging Technologies
Thermo Fisher Scientific (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Cynvenio Biosystems (Westlake Village, Calif.) have signed a distribution agreement for the LiquidBiopsy platform. The combination of Cynvenio’s rare cell capture and enrichment technology and Thermo Fisher’s Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine workflow positions Thermo Fisher as the only one in the industry to offer a comprehensive sample-to-genomic data solution for analysis of tumor-related biomarkers in the bloodstream. Interest in liquid biopsy technology stems from the hope that the ability to gain real-time, serial insights of disease status without the need for invasive biopsies will improve clinical care.
This comprehensive workflow solution enables highly multiplexed analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTC) and cell-free DNA from a single blood draw, with results in less than 48 hours. Cynvenio’s platform leverages enhanced immunomagnetic capture in patented microfluidic chip to extract and isolate rare cells from whole blood. The system provides “walk-away automation” and is capable of processing up to four samples in under three hours. Unlike with other systems, Cynvenio says that populations captured on the LiquidBiopsy platform can be removed and directly sequenced (with polymerase chain reaction or next-generation sequencing methodologies) without performing amplification steps.
Thermo Fisher says that the “high CTC purity rate” along with the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine’s ability to accurately sequence as little as 10ng of DNA, enables highly multiplexed interrogation on one Ion 318 sequencing chip from a single blood sample. The comprehensive workflow also incorporates the Ion Torrent Chef System for automated sample prep and the Ion Torrent AmpliSeq Cancer Hot Spot Panel v2, which targets about 2,800 specific gene mutations for sequencing prior to final analysis with the Ion Torrent Reporter software.
This partnership exemplifies the interest in the liquid biopsy market by diagnostics companies large and small in the area. Liquid biopsy technology is expected to ultimately influence the entire continuum of cancer care — from early detection, treatment selection, treatment monitoring through recurrence surveillance — as well as other clinical areas, like post-transplantation monitoring. Industry watchers expect 2015 to be the year where there is substantial translation of the technology from the research realm to clinical care. For more information please see the special liquid biopsy focus section of the February issue of Diagnostic Testing & Emerging Technologies.