Waltham, MA, United States
Waltham, MA, United States

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The invention features devices and methods for detecting, enriching, and analyzing circulating tumor cells and other particles. The invention further features methods of diagnosing a condition, e.g., cancer, in a subject by analyzing a cellular sample from the subject.


This present invention compositions and methods of treating, diagnosing, prognosing cancer and methods of accessing/monitoring the responsiveness of a cancer cell to a therapeutic compound.


Method of enriching specific cells from cellular samples are disclosed, comprising contacting in solution a cellular sample with affinity-tagged ligands (ATLs) each comprising a first ligand linked to an affinity tag, wherein the ligand selectively binds a cellular marker of the rare cells and the affinity tag can be selectively captured by a capture moiety, wherein the affinity tags do not comprise a magnetic particle; and flowing the sample through a microfluidic device comprising the capture moiety to selectively retain ATL-bound cells. Methods for enriching circulating tumor cells, and devices for enriching specific cells from cellular samples are also disclosed.


The present invention provides materials and methods for predicting the response of a disease state to a therapeutic agent. A targeting moiety specific for a biological marker is labeled with a reporter moiety and used to analyze cells characteristic of the disease state. The output of the reporter moiety, which may be fluorescence intensity, is compared to the output of reference standard analyzed under similar or identical conditions. The use of a reference standard allows biomarker reporting to be normalized. Biomarker values can then be correlated from sample to sample and from laboratory to laboratory based on quantitative calibration on a universal reference standard.


Method of enriching specific cells from cellular samples are disclosed, comprising contacting in solution a cellular sample with affinity-tagged ligands (ATLs) each comprising a first ligand linked to an affinity tag, wherein the ligand selectively binds a cellular marker of the rare cells and the affinity tag can be selectively captured by a capture moiety, wherein the affinity tags do not comprise a magnetic particle; and flowing the sample through a microfluidic device comprising the capture moiety to selectively retain ATL-bound cells. Methods for enriching circulating tumor cells, and devices for enriching specific cells from cellular samples are also disclosed.


News Article | January 10, 2011
Site: www.xconomy.com

On-Q-ity Strikes Deal With LabCorp To Help Researchers Spot Rare Tumor Cells On-Q-ity is betting that it can help improve cancer research and treatment by spotting the rarest of tumor cells circulating in the blood. Now the startup’s technology has found an important new benefactor in Laboratory Corporation of America (NYSE: LH). Waltham, MA-based On-Q-ity is announcing today it has formed a strategic alliance with LabCorp in which the big research and diagnostics player will use its sales, marketing, and distribution muscle to commercialize On-Q-ity’s technology for detecting circulating tumor cells. LabCorp will pitch the technology to cancer drug R&D operations that want to do a better job recruiting the right patients into clinical trials, seeing quickly whether a new drug is working, and finding out early when patients are relapsing. Financial terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. “I am thrilled about it,” says Mara Aspinall, the CEO of On-Q-ity. “LabCorp has the ability to get this to researchers around the world, to small and large companies, to people in the process of putting together some of most important clinical trials for cancer. This is the first big step in making the technology broadly available.” The LabCorp deal is clearly important for a fledgling technology developer like On-Q-ity, which formed in 2009 through the merger of a pair of startups. The On-Q-ity technology is supposed to be able to go a step further than the traditional diagnostic tools of oncology. It’s intended to find cells from tumors that are so small and rare they don’t yet show up on today’s most high-resolution CT and MRI imaging tools. Scientists hope that by using this kind of tool—which spots cells in blood samples that can be take repeatedly over time at a relatively low cost—they’ll have a rich new set of data to track how cancer spreads over time. Eventually, treatment regimens could be made more personalized by seeing in real-time whether a patient responds to treatment, or not. The On-Q-ity technology has so far only been tested by a small group of beta users, and today’s deal with LabCorp means that it will get its first big shot at widespread usage. The hope is that by refining things like inclusion and exclusion criteria for clinical trials, and by determining more quickly when a malignancy has spread, that drug developers will be able to increase their odds of success with developing new medicines, Aspinall says. It’s a huge need for an industry in which more than 800 cancer drugs are said to be in development, an only estimated one out of 10 will be good enough to make it through all the necessary clinical trials, and where success is often defined as a drug that actually helps only about one out of every four patients. By going first into the R&D market, On-Q-ity can start generating product sales early in its life, without waiting for what could be a time-consuming and expensive process of seeking FDA approval in a more regulated application like clinical diagnostics. The company also has its sights set on entering the diagnostics market, Aspinall says, but R&D makes sense as an initial market partly because it will give top researchers a sense of what else they can do with the tool later on. On-Q-ity certainly isn’t the only company seeking to commercialize an instrument that spots circulating tumor cells. Veridex, a unit of Johnson & Johnson in North Raritan, NJ, has an FDA approved instrument for spotting circulating tumor cells. On-Q-ity, Aspinall says, is hoping it can establish a technical advantage through its system, which analyzes … Next Page »


News Article | February 15, 2012
Site: www.xconomy.com

Informed decisions will improve the way cancer is treated. On-Q-ity is an innovative diagnostic company that is focused on providing physicians with the tools they need to make the best decision when treating individual cancer patients. Our platform will enable better decision-making across multiple cancers: improving the quality of life for patients and ultimately increasing survival.


News Article | March 19, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lifeprint Group, the parent company for GenePeeks, Inc., a genetic information company focused on next-generation disease risk analysis, announced today that Mara Aspinall has joined the company’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman. Aspinall brings deep experience building and leading successful life science companies to support the company’s continued growth. “We are privileged to welcome Mara as the new Chairman of our Board of Directors,” said Anne Morriss, CEO of GenePeeks. “Her leadership at the intersection of genomics, diagnostics and personalized medicine is incredibly valuable to us as we continue to develop our patented platform and work towards helping any family who wants to protect their future children from serious genetic diseases.” GenePeeks digitally combines the DNA information of prospective parents to create “Virtual Progeny” and evaluate their risk for more than 500 recessive genetic diseases. The company’s innovative approach uses a next-generation sequencing platform to look deep inside a future child’s potential genome to uncover disease risk that cannot be seen with existing pre-pregnancy screening tools. “GenePeeks is bringing computational genomics to the challenge of reducing risk for life-threatening and life-altering diseases,” said Aspinall. “I look forward to sharing my insight and experience with the GenePeeks leadership team to help make the company’s breakthrough analysis available to as many parents as possible. In a world where all of us carry hidden risk inside our genes, there is enormous power in seeing this risk in advance of a pregnancy and capturing the true complexity of reproductive genetics.“ Aspinall is the former President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems. Ventana, a member of the Roche Group, is a worldwide leader in the development, manufacture and commercialization of tissue-based cancer diagnostics that enable the delivery of personalized healthcare to patients. During her tenure, Ventana substantially grew its financial and market position, establishing the company as a leading oncology companion diagnostics firm. She currently serves as the CEO of Health Catalysts, a consulting firm dedicated to increasing the growth and impact of early stage life sciences companies. Previously, Aspinall spent 12 years with Genzyme Corporation where she held leadership roles that included President of Genzyme Genetics and President of Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. She was the Founder, CEO and Director of On-Q-ity, a diagnostic research company focused on transforming cancer patient treatment and treatment outcomes through the capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a patient’s blood. Aspinall is a Director of Safeguard Scientific (NYSE:SFE), a company providing growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative healthcare and technology companies, as well as Castle Biosciences. She served for more than a decade on the Board of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, chairing the Science Committee and as a Board member of Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. In addition, Aspinall was an active member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Council on Genetics in both the Obama and Bush administrations. GenePeeks is a genetic information company focused on identifying inherited disease risk in future generations. GenePeeks’ proprietary technology digitally combines the genetic information of two potential parents, simulating the complex genetic interactions that occur naturally in human reproduction. The company’s patented platform creates and analyzes thousands of Virtual Progeny to uncover disease risk that cannot be seen with existing pre-pregnancy screening tools. GenePeeks was founded by CEO Anne Morriss and Lee Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, to help families protect their future children from serious diseases. GenePeeks is privately held by Lifeprint Group, with offices in New York, NY and Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.genepeeks.com.


News Article | March 19, 2015
Site: www.businesswire.com

NEW YORK & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lifeprint Group, the parent company for GenePeeks, Inc., a genetic information company focused on next-generation disease risk analysis, announced today that Mara Aspinall has joined the company’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman. Aspinall brings deep experience building and leading successful life science companies to support the company’s continued growth. “We are privileged to welcome Mara as the new Chairman of our Board of Directors,” said Anne Morriss, CEO of GenePeeks. “Her leadership at the intersection of genomics, diagnostics and personalized medicine is incredibly valuable to us as we continue to develop our patented platform and work towards helping any family who wants to protect their future children from serious genetic diseases.” GenePeeks digitally combines the DNA information of prospective parents to create “Virtual Progeny” and evaluate their risk for more than 500 recessive genetic diseases. The company’s innovative approach uses a next-generation sequencing platform to look deep inside a future child’s potential genome to uncover disease risk that cannot be seen with existing pre-pregnancy screening tools. “GenePeeks is bringing computational genomics to the challenge of reducing risk for life-threatening and life-altering diseases,” said Aspinall. “I look forward to sharing my insight and experience with the GenePeeks leadership team to help make the company’s breakthrough analysis available to as many parents as possible. In a world where all of us carry hidden risk inside our genes, there is enormous power in seeing this risk in advance of a pregnancy and capturing the true complexity of reproductive genetics.“ Aspinall is the former President and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems. Ventana, a member of the Roche Group, is a worldwide leader in the development, manufacture and commercialization of tissue-based cancer diagnostics that enable the delivery of personalized healthcare to patients. During her tenure, Ventana substantially grew its financial and market position, establishing the company as a leading oncology companion diagnostics firm. She currently serves as the CEO of Health Catalysts, a consulting firm dedicated to increasing the growth and impact of early stage life sciences companies. Previously, Aspinall spent 12 years with Genzyme Corporation where she held leadership roles that included President of Genzyme Genetics and President of Genzyme Pharmaceuticals. She was the Founder, CEO and Director of On-Q-ity, a diagnostic research company focused on transforming cancer patient treatment and treatment outcomes through the capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a patient’s blood. Aspinall is a Director of Safeguard Scientific (NYSE:SFE), a company providing growth capital for entrepreneurial and innovative healthcare and technology companies, as well as Castle Biosciences. She served for more than a decade on the Board of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, chairing the Science Committee and as a Board member of Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. In addition, Aspinall was an active member of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Council on Genetics in both the Obama and Bush administrations. GenePeeks is a genetic information company focused on identifying inherited disease risk in future generations. GenePeeks’ proprietary technology digitally combines the genetic information of two potential parents, simulating the complex genetic interactions that occur naturally in human reproduction. The company’s patented platform creates and analyzes thousands of Virtual Progeny to uncover disease risk that cannot be seen with existing pre-pregnancy screening tools. GenePeeks was founded by CEO Anne Morriss and Lee Silver, Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University, to help families protect their future children from serious diseases. GenePeeks is privately held by Lifeprint Group, with offices in New York, NY and Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.genepeeks.com.

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