The companies will explore the potential of the MRD testing across solid cancers and say their goal is to enhance oncology treatment and supporting clinical trial recruitment and monitoring.
MRD is the name for a small number of leukemic cells that remain in the person during their treatment – or after treatment when the patient is in remission with no symptoms or signs of the disease. It is the major cause of relapse in cancer and leukaemia. Up until about ten years ago, none of the available tests used to assess or detect cancer were sensitive enough to detect MRD. The testing has several important roles including determining whether treatment has eradicated the cancer or if there are still traces. They can also compare the efficacy of different treatments.
The collaboration showed early evidence that the C2i assay is able to provide that the C2i assay can sensitively detect ctDNA to 0.002% allelic frequency. This was done by using artificially generated samples that were used to reproduce varying levels of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) expected to be found in tumors.
Solid cancer tests
Using its in-house sequencing capabilities and building on existing work, AstraZeneca says it will further evaluate and validate the C2i Genomics platform across a panel of patient-derived samples.
C2i says the industry is continuing to transform the way cancer is detected with the recent developments of cheaper, more cost-effective accessible whole genome sequencing technologies. With the convergence of reduced prices of whole-genome sequencing, the increase of capacity and throughput of global cloud infrastructure, and the combined technological developments in machine learning and signal processing, C2i Genomics is at the forefront of an inflection point that will profoundly change cancer treatment monitoring and clinical decisions.
The non-invasive detection of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from plasma has been shown to have clinical value for the detection of MRD, the emergence of resistance, and the prediction of treatment response. New MRD technologies aim to provide greater cancer detection sensitivity by expanding methods beyond small, personalized panels.
The genomics company says its MRD technology applies whole-genome sequencing and artificial intelligence to a small blood sample to provide ultra-sensitive cancer detection. This technology aims to eliminate the need to develop a patient-specific assay, enabling high-performance, personalized monitoring and rapid turnaround across multiple solid cancers with reduced operational complexity.
“This collaboration has generated promising results by providing ultra-sensitive and accurate cancer detection and monitoring across multiple solid cancers,” said Asaf Zviran, CEO and co-founder of C2i Genomics.
“We’re looking forward to our continued collaboration with AstraZeneca to see where the power of our technologies can support the development of more effective cancer treatments for the patients that urgently need it.”