SAN DIEGO, Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocept, Inc., a privately-held CLIA-certified laboratory testing company, focused on the detection and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood samples from cancer patients, announced today that the US Patent and Trademark Office has allowed its patent application covering its microchannel capture device developed for the isolation of rare cells in blood. The microchannel is a key component of Biocept's Cell Enrichment and Extraction (CEE) platform, providing high efficiency capture of target cells, and their straightforward visual and microscopic analysis. Such analysis can include enumeration of CTCs, as well as detection of biomarkers such as stained proteins and amplified genes. The microchannel is the size and shape of a microscope slide and is sealed with a glass cover slip, facilitating immunocytochemistry and cytogenetic techniques, such as fluorescent in situ hybridization, on target cells. The patent is entitled "Recovery of Rare Cells Using a Microchannel Apparatus with Patterned Posts".
David Hale, Executive Chairman of Biocept, said, "The issuance of this patent is further recognition of the novelty of Biocept's platform, and especially its microchannel capture device, which was designed to specifically maximize interaction between target cells and the capture surface. We believe the microchannel capture device, when combined with other aspects of Biocept's platform technology, provides an important technology for CTC capture and analysis". He continued: "Biocept has been aggressive in seeking protection for the innovations it is developing for the CTC field, which we expect to continue as we further develop our technology platform. Other examples of this include our antibody capture cocktail, which enables the capture of different CTC phenotypes, and a novel mutation analysis technology that will have real utility for the molecular analysis of CTCs, and is also likely to have a more general application in the broader area of molecular diagnostics. We believe that these technologies for the assessment of CTCs may provide physicians with valuable information to help guide the treatment of their patients with cancer".
Biocept is launching its OncoCEE-BR test for breast cancer, and has entered into an agreement with Clarient, Inc., a GE Healthcare Company, to aid in its commercialization in the United States. This test includes enumeration of CTCs as well as the determination of HER2 status by FISH, and is performed on the microchannel capture device. ER/PR status determination will be added to the test in the near future, and potentially other biomarkers may be included as well. OncoCEE-BR is the only commercially available CTC test that combines enumeration and biomarker analysis.
About Biocept, Inc.
Biocept Laboratories, headquartered in San Diego, California, is an advanced diagnostic CLIA-certified laboratory services company specializing in the capture, detection, enumeration and molecular analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Biocept is dedicated to positively impacting the lives of cancer patients through the development of innovative diagnostic products and services. Biocept utilizes innovative and proprietary technologies to deliver clinically relevant and actionable information to physicians that enable better patient care. This includes clinical assessments of CTCs, both prognostic and diagnostic, which may provide physicians with information to help guide the treatment of their patients with cancer.
Biocept's CEE Platform
Biocept is developing the proprietary CEE (cell enrichment and extraction) platform, and a family of specialized CTC tests (OncoCEE), which will be provided as a service to physicians and patients, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, through Biocept's CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory. The CEE platform is comprised of microfluidic capture channels and associated instrumentation, antibody capture cocktails, CEE-Enhanced staining technology and biomarker assays performed on CTCs captured in the channels. CTCs are extremely rare, and may be present in only 1 of every 50-100 billion blood cells, which is why their capture is challenging. Biocept obtains patient samples via a simple blood draw, or "liquid biopsy", instead of relying on traditional biopsy methods or surgical procedures. Samples are drawn into Biocept's unique CEE-Sure tubes, and shipped to its testing laboratory.
SOURCE Biocept, Inc.