Success stories: detecting metastatic cancer
Pune-based Actorius Innovations and Research (AIR) has developed a test that can detect metastatic cancer cells, also called circulating tumour cells (CTCs), in the blood of patients with breast, colorectal and lung cancers. Such liquid biopsy tests were ranked third among the top 12 disruptive technologies in oncology and cancer treatment by the World Medical Innovation Forum 2016.
The company’s OncoDiscover CTC liquid biopsy technology uses highly dispersed smart materials that interact with cancer cells by targeting epithelial cell adhesion molecules (EpCAM), an antigen that is overexpressed in epithelial cancer cells.
‘Our test is the first clinically developed CTC tool and will soon be approved in India,’ says company founder Jayant Khandare, who previously worked at Piramal Life Sciences and is now at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology in Pune. ‘We are one of a few companies in the world that have developed this technology. We will be able to offer this test for less than $100 [£76], when similar tests in the US cost around $2500. Moreover, we can deliver the test results in less than four hours, compared to seven days [for existing tests].’