Epic Sciences, a San Diego, Calif.-based developer of novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer, has inked an agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), a Burlington, N.C.-based healthcare diagnostics company, to provide circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology and support oncology clinical trials in Asia through Covance Drug Development.
Covance will process patient samples in Singapore, and then send samples to Epic's clinical laboratory in San Diego, which has recently been licensed under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988, for downstream detection and molecular characterization of CTCs. This agreement expands on a previous contract announced last year between Epic and LabCorp for European clinical trials.
"The expansion of the partnership with LabCorp will provide an important access point for all oncology clinical trials conducted in Asia and meet the global demand for Epic's circulating tumor cell technology," said Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., president and CEO of Epic Sciences. "For Epic's clinical trial partners and customers, we provide significant, actionable information on patient matching, treatment effectiveness and disease progression to streamline clinical trials for new targeted cancer therapies and to develop essential companion diagnostics."
Epic is developing new, high-definition diagnostic tests to provide clinically relevant information about how a patient's cancer changes over time, which will allow for improved therapy selection and early drug resistance detection. From a simple blood draw, Epic's "no cell left behind" technology analyzes approximately six million cells across more than 90 parameters to capture and analyze all possible types of circulating tumor cells. Unlike other blood-based biomarkers used in liquid biopsies, CTCs hold both genetic and proteomic information and encompass the profiles of both primary tumors and metastases. Epic's technology can incorporate CTC enumeration, quantitative protein biomarker analysis and single-cell genomic analysis by next generation sequencing (NGS) or fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to give a comprehensive picture of a patient's cancer.