Precision oncology needs
Precision oncology is revolutionizing cancer care.
Precision oncology includes new ways of treating cancer such as targeted therapies and immunotherapies. These approaches are more specific and effective than current treatments. In the near future, they will considerably reduce worldwide cancer burden.
As of today, only a fraction of the 18 million yearly diagnosed patients benefit from precision oncology. To increase the number of beneficiaries, new diagnostic tools are needed to match the specific needs of precision oncology to define patients' eligibility and monitor treatment response.
Cancer diagnostic today.
In precision oncology, diagnosis requires the assessment of tumor genotype and/or phenotype profiles.
Today, tissue biopsy is the gold standard for cancer diagnosis. However, it can come with numerous disadvantages:
Unable to represent tumor heterogeneity
High procedural cost
Tumor cell dissemination
Additionally, for around 25% of cancer patients, tissue biopsy cannot be performed due to their weak condition and/or inaccessibility of their tumor.
Cancer diagnostic tomorrow.
Tumor cells are released into the bloodstream during the formation and growth of a tumor. These circulating tumor cells (CTC) can be enriched and analyzed to determine the tumor's phenotype and genotype profiles. CTC analyses are considered a real-time “liquid biopsy” to provide clinicians with actionable information to guide treatment decision.
However, CTCs are very rare (down to 1 CTC per billion blood cells) and their isolation constitutes a significant technical challenge. As a matter of fact, existing CTC isolation technologies provide insufficient reliability and throughput to reach clinical utility and fully support the development of precision oncology.
To solve this, Parithera is developing a new generation of CTC liquid biopsy to isolate more CTCs with a high purity in a faster way than any marketed solution.
"Insufficient reliability and throughput of current CTC isolation technologies hinder their clinical utility."
Prof. Klaus Pantel, Chairman European Liquid Biopsy Society
How it works.
The CTC isolation device technology is based on magnetic nanoparticles which specifically target CTCs. The process consists of 3 steps.
Step 1: a solution of magnetic nanoparticles is injected.
Step 2: the magnetic nanoparticles bind to CTCs.
Step 3: CTCs/nanoparticles clusters are captured by a magnetic filter.
The isolated CTCs can be used for a variety of downstream analyses such as genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling.
The unique nanoparticles we developed at ETH Zurich allow rapid whole blood CTC isolation. To automatize CTC isolation, we are developing a device at EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.
Dr. Antoine Herzog
Antoine is one of the founders of Parithera. His stays in industry, convinced him to focus on projects with a translational potential with the ultimate goal of taking research out of the laboratory and bringing it to the clinics. After completing a Bachelor in Chemistry at EPFL and Imperial College, Antoine studied at ETHZ where he obtained a MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. During his doctoral work, Antoine developed a new generation of magnetic nanoparticles which form the foundation of Parithera's CTC isolation technology. His work led to 2 patent applications and several publications.
Dr. Weida Chen
Weida is one of the founders of Parithera. His numerous interests, led him to successfully participate in a diversity of projects which allowed him to develop a highly versatile skillset. After completing a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering at ETHZ, Weida obtained a MSc in Chemical and Bioengineering before pursuing a PhD in Chemical Engineering at ETHZ with a stay at the University of Urbana-Champaign (Prof. John Rogers). During his doctoral work, Weida used magnetic nanoparticles for DNA-encoded data storage in a collaboration with Microsoft. He also developed an electromechanical device for transient electronics. His work led to 4 patent applications and several publications.