HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kailos Genetics, a personalized medicine information company offering leading-edge gene-based testing, today announced they have entered into a collaboration with Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah to develop a clinical-grade test for circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Backed by a $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the minimally invasive test will be used to monitor patients for breast cancer disease recurrence.
Approximately 1.5 million women in the United States will be monitored for disease recurrence in 2015. The long dormancy and spontaneous re-growth of cancer cells presents a major challenge for monitoring breast cancer survivors. Current imaging methods to detect disease recurrence are expensive, carry a risk of radiation exposure and have limited detection sensitivity for small masses and micro-metastases. Additionally, current tests do not provide personalized information about mutations that cause resistance to therapy. The test being developed by Kailos and HCI is intended to improve outcomes through a sensitive, accurate and affordable blood test that measures ctDNA to detect breast cancer tumors earlier than imaging, and provide information about therapy resistance mutations.
“When academic and commercial organizations collaborate, we are able to see exciting advances in research be practically applied within the consumer and clinical space,” said Troy Moore, chief scientific officer at Kailos Genetics.
“We hope that the work we do as a result of this grant accelerates the translation of research discoveries into useful tools that improve cancer care,” stated Katherine Varley, PhD, investigator at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah. “This research has the potential to make a big difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and oncologists in the coming years.”
The research and development of the test will be structured as a five-year multi-site study. It will occur at both HCI facilities and Kailos’ commercial next-generation sequencing CLIA-certified laboratory to ensure accuracy and reproducibility.
Kailos Genetics is a trusted provider of personalized health information. Addressing unmet needs of healthcare consumers and their families is Kailos’ primary reason for being. With its proprietary and robust DNA sequencing enrichment and laboratory information system, TargetRichTM, Kailos helps make personalized medicine affordable and accessible for everyone through the Kailos test. Founded in 2010, and based in Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Kailos is committed to providing a simple, trusted and affordable way to help individuals understand what’s in their genes. To learn more, visit www.kailosgenetics.com/about-kailos.
About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is one of the world’s top academic research and cancer treatment centers. HCI is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (a 23-member alliance of the world's leading cancer centers) and is a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon, and pancreas cancers. HCI manages the Utah Population Database - the largest genetic database in the world, with more than 16 million records linked to genealogies, health records, and vital statistics. Using this data, HCI researchers have identified cancer-causing genes, including the genes responsible for melanoma, colon and breast cancer, and paraganglioma. The HCI Cancer Learning Center for patient and public education contains one of the nation's largest collections of cancer-related publications. The institute is named after Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., a Utah philanthropist, industrialist, and cancer survivor.