Precision Therapeutics’ TumorGenesis Division Isolates Discovery Biomarkers for Thyroid Cancer Cell Types, Initiating Its Proprietary Process for New Drug Development Via Patient-Derived Tumor Models
GlobeNewswire•February 5, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Precision Therapeutics Inc. (AIPT) (“Precision” or “the Company”) today announces its TumorGenesis subsidiary has identified three thyroid cancer cell types and has isolated the discovery biomarkers. The company will utilize this discovery to further develop its proprietary TumorGenesis system for Cancer Cell Capture and Culture, which permits screening of drugs against the cancers cells. The TumorGenesis system enables cells grown outside the body to behave as though they were present in a patient, potentially making the drug screening process more predictive.
The TumorGenesis system, which the Company believes represents a paradigm shift in the way drug discovery is conducted, relies on the ability to grow tumors outside the body that will have the same genotype as a cancer mutation. This methodology will allow pharmaceutical developers to create therapies that are unique to a particular patient’s tumor. The biomarkers identified by TumorGenesis for these types of thyroid cancer involve the sequencing of the peptides that reside on the surface of the tumor cell. The Company’s discovery of these biomarkers is essentially the first step in refining this methodology.
“Identifying the surface biomarkers to tumor cells is an approach that will allow TumorGenesis to help separate different cell types and identify novel biomarkers that may lead to new ways of treating cancers of all types,” commented Richard Gabriel, COO of TumorGenesis. “We will couple our biomarker array with genetic sequencing, deep machine learning and creation of novel blocks of biomarkers that will be able to separate and then culture cancer cells in an environment where they behave as if they were inside a human body. This important milestone is the first step of our three-part development process.”
The company is currently exploring how to determine which grouping of biomarkers can be effectively expanded in a culture and will then grow a tumor ex vivo that expresses the key genetic properties of a cancer subtype. In addition to thyroid cancer, the company is currently researching other cancer cell types, including ovarian, breast, glioblastoma, liver and colon. Thyroid cancer is mostly curable, with a few aggressive, difficult to treat forms.
It is estimated that thyroid cancer will cause 2,060 deaths this year alone, with women three-times more likely to have the disease, although women and men die at a similar rate, making the prognosis for men worse than for women with the diagnosis. Currently there are 594 clinical trials ongoing worldwide for Thyroid cancer, with 84 in the United States alone. The global thyroid treatment market was valued at $340 million in 2017 and will reach $2.090 billion by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 25.5 percent in the period of 2018-2025.
“This is an important first step in the development of our Cancer Cell Capture, Culture and Screening methodology, and we hope to both progress our methodology in thyroid cancer and expand our capabilities into other cancer types,” commented Dr. Carl Schwartz, chief executive officer of Precision Therapeutics. “We are convinced this is a paradigm shift toward personalized medicine in cancer treatment and believe that once we are able to grow tumors outside the body, our Helomics subsidiary will facilitate the screening of drug discovery candidates using its AI platform, and provide more optimal treatment opportunities for individual patients.”
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