Quanterix expands biomarker tech to oncology research

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/luchschen)
(Image: Getty/luchschen)

Related tags Quanterix Biomarker Clinical trials Oncology Immuno-oncology

Quanterix is expanding its biomarker technology platform to oncology with the launch of a new test bed for up to 10-plex assays, which will enable drug developers to expedite clinical trials, says CEO.

The company, which works to digitize biomarker analysis, has released an Early Access Program for its latest Simoa Sensitivity assays for oncology.

Kevin Hrusovsky, Quanterix ​CEO, said the program will make available up to 10-plex assays for oncology research and drug development with the same sensitivity as the company’s flagship Simoa technology.

“For the first time, researchers will be able to access over one thousand assay configurations for oncology without sacrificing sensitivity,”​ he told us. “This is critical for advancing the development of drugs, specifically in the field of oncology.”

“The ability to test multiple assays at one time will enable drug developers to expedite clinical trials, bringing new and more precise oncology treatments to market faster,”​ Hrusovsky added.

“It will also allow researchers to test drug efficacy and more quickly see the effects of a certain drug on individual patients at the earliest stages of the disease, even as the cancer mutates. This can enable significant changes in terms of how we treat cancer today.”

Hrusovsky noted that the release also expands Quanterix’s footprint beyond neurology, to oncology and immuno-oncology research, a market the company estimates to be about three to five times the size of its current neurology markets.

The program is being launched for a select group of customers, though access will be expanded in Q1 of 2019.

Better drug development with biomarkers

There is no known cure for cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death in the US. Thus, finding better treatment options for patients must be a top priority, said Hrusovsky.

According to recent reports​, biomarker-enabled drug programs are three times more likely to reach approval. After Phase I, Hrusovsky said trials using biomarkers increase the probability that a drug will get approved from 8.4% to 25%.

“With drug development timelines protracted, and with toxicity and efficacy continuing to be major problems, we are starting to see increased openness to the use of digital biomarkers for improving the drug development process,”​ he said.

As Hrusovsky explained, Biomarkers enable developers to detect disease earlier and less invasively.

He added, “When deployed in the process, they have the potential to complement traditional clinical endpoints, providing researchers with an enhanced mechanistic understanding and measurement of a drug's efficacy and toxicity at the individual patient level.”

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