A Korean genetic sequencing firm has taken a step towards the commercialization of its liquid biopsy technology, which aims at detecting early stage cancer with a simple blood test and suggesting optimized treatment.
Eone Diagnomics Genome Center (EDGC) announced that it applied for a U.S. as well as an international patent under the PCT system for its DNA methylation analysis technology.
The technology is based on a liquid biopsy, which is a cutting-edge technology that can be applied throughout the whole treatment cycle, from the early detection of cancer and monitoring of its recurrence and spread, to the provision of anticancer drugs tailored to each patient.
For mass screenings aimed at the early detection of cancer, a small amount of blood is taken from a person in order to detect circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), or DNA that originates from cancerous cells. In the case of early-stage cancer, however, ctDNA exists in an extremely small amount, making it very difficult to detect. Global liquid biopsy firms have thus been seeking to overcome this barrier.
Recently, methylation analysis of the cancer genome has been in the spotlight as a technology that can solve this problem, but there hasn’t been much progress made, due to the difficulty of its application in early-stage cancer, where only a tiny amount of ctDNA is present.
EDGC says that it has solved the problem by extracting a specific methylation pattern in the cancer genome through a next generation sequencing (NGS) method and analysis consisting of an AI algorithm.
The company says that the technology enables the analysis of more than tens of thousands of methylation markers, while guaranteeing high sensitivity in the analysis, even if there is an ultra-small amount of ctDNA.
EDGC already obtained a patent in July for its technology, which selectively removes free adapters that affect the sensitivity of the analysis.
“Early-stage detection of cancer using liquid biopsies is the first step towards cancer treatment through precision medicine. The methylation-based technology we have developed has enabled us to get a head start in the global competition over the early detection of cancer,” said Lee Sung-hoon, the chief technology officer (CTO) of EDGC.
Source – Korea Times