Taiwan's CancerFree Biotech Ltd Develops World's First Commercial Personalized Cancer Cell Profile

  • Develops a personalized cancer profile for patients to quickly find suitable drugs
  • Commercializable system cultures cancer cells ex vivo with only a blood sample
  • Cultures cancer cells up to six times faster than other methods

TAIPEI, July 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Taiwanese firm CancerFree Biotech Ltd. has developed a breakthrough for patients with stage 2 solid tumor. Stage 2 patients or above shortens the drug therapy selection process through a personalized cancer profile, the innovative technology will be showcasing at US Bio 2022.

This is the world's first commercial Circulating Tumor Cell-Derived Organoid (CDO) culture system as part of its E.V.A (Ex Vivo Avatar) technology platform, which, compared to other technologies currently available in the market, boasts better efficacy, efficiency, and speed.

The technology not only shortens the time delayed in trying different therapies but also reduces the risk of side effects for patients who have not yet found an effective drug.

As only 20 ml of blood will be needed, this makes the system highly convenient for collection, especially from elderly patients, or where it is difficult to obtain tissue samples. The technology makes it smoother, easier, more comfortable, and convenient for both physicians and patients to find an appropriate drug therapy.

"When my elderly father was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, the process to treat him was nothing short of tedious. The lack of technology to optimize the process was frustrating, to say the least."

"Despite my background in computer science, I was adamant about finding a better way to help ease the therapy selection process.", said founder Po Chen.

The science behind the system

Determining the right therapies for cancer patients can be a time-consuming and costly affair, not to mention drug resistance can become a huge problem for patients. Furthermore, collecting tissue samples from patients can be an invasive and discomforting experience for many.

CancerFree Biotech's CDO system develops a personalized patient cancer profile (called an 'avatar') by culturing their cancer cells in a lab to simulate the body's response to a drug.

The system helps physicians conduct customized drug sensitivity testing with the patient's tumor profile before treatment selection, thus speeding up the drug selection process and reducing the risk of drug resistance.

The technology greatly reduces the time needed to culture almost any type of cancer cell in under four weeks, as compared to other systems on the academy, which can take up to 24 weeks just for specific types of cancers.

"We isolate a very small number of circulating tumor cells that enter the bloodstream from in-situ (on-site) tumors and culture the cells ex vivo (outside the body) using 3D scaffolds. This increases the number of cancer cells we can work with to build a tumor avatar (tumor profile) of the patient.", shared [Dr. Lu, the one of inventors].

The 3D scaffold mimics the in vivo bone marrow-like structure (the inside of the patient's body) and replicates the environment for tumorigenesis (proliferation of the tumor) for the company to test drugs on.

A highly effective solution

Blood samples are homogeneous and more representative than local tissue samples if the tumor has distant metastases. This is why CancerFree Biotech's innovative CDO system boasts high efficacy, successfully proliferating cancer cells ex vivo in approximately 90% more than 100 cancer types. It is also quick, as evidenced by its high efficiency, seeing 1,000 to 100,000 fold proliferation of cancer cells within four weeks.

"They have successfully utilized a breakthrough technology and have seen success in over 900 cancer cases. Furthermore, the system is able to be matched to over 100 types of generic drugs, making it easier for physicians to find an appropriate drug to match the patient's tumor profile.", said [Dr. Chiu, the dean of TMU Hospital].

Cancer types that can be tested for include all solid tumors, such as lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic, kidney, bladder, skin, brain, sarcomas, and other various rare cancers.

Additionally, proprietary software developed by CancerFree Biotech automates drug selection, making it easy for users to find the drugs needed for patients. The company was currently invested by Berkeley Skydeck and the Taiwan Ministry of Science Technology (MOST) sponsored them exhibited at the Bio international convention.

The Taipei office comprises 13 team members, with patients from Japan and Vietnam. The original patent for the technology is from the US and Taiwan , with exclusive license by the Taipei Medical University.

Provided free to pediatric patients, the system is fully commercializable, and the company is at its revenue stage. CancerFree Biotech hopes to cooperate with pharmaceutical companies to bring the technology to scale.

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SOURCE CancerFree Biotech

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