Pointcare Genomics Awarded SBIR Phase I Contract from NCI to Develop Technologies for Detecting Circulating Cell-Free DNA for Diagnosis of Cancers

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Company will use its proprietary non-PCR based technology for the detection of methylated DNA present in blood or serum of cancer parients

Pointcare Genomics Corporation today announced that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop technology platforms for the rapid detection of circulating cell-free methylated DNA for diagnosis of human cancers. Phase I funding (~$300,000 for nine months) will help the company to develop bioluminescence and electrochemistry based technology platforms for the rapid detection of circulating cell-free methylated DNA present in blood or serum of cancer patients.

Tumors shed cell-free DNA/RNA in body fluids and these circulating cell-free-DNA/RNA biomarkers are very useful for the early diagnosis of cancers, especially when repeated tumor biopsies are not feasible. Detection of these biomarkers, which are found in blood/serum, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), mammary aspiration fluids , saliva , sputum, and stool, is quite challenging since these biomarkers are present in very low quantities (as low as 10pg). Currently, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods are used for the detection of circulating cell-free DNA/RNA biomarkers. However, these methods are expensive, time consuming and labor intensive. Moreover, these tests can be performed only in highly sophisticated clinical laboratories, limiting the accessibility of these tests to vast majority of cancer patients. Company will use its proprietary non-PCR based technology for the detection of DNA for developing novel clinical diagnostics platform for rapid detection of cancers.

"We are honored to receive NCI's support for our ideas for developing innovative molecular diagnostic tests for rapid detection of cancers. This contract from NCI will help us to develop these tests, ultimately helping physicians to make critical treatment decisions and improving quality of cancer patient care. Most importantly, our tests can be done in small or individual physician clinics using a luminometer and a portable glucose meter. We believe our innovative technology platforms will revolutionize the field of cancer diagnosis", said Tonny Johnson, Ph.D., and PI on this SBIR Phase I contract and the CEO of the company.

"This is a major step forward for cancer detection at the point of care. This technology has the promise to revolutionize the way we detect and monitor cancer to improve care of patients.” said Dr. Mark Burkard, MD. Ph.D., oncologist and assoc. professor of medicine hematology/oncology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, School Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Burkard is a consultant on this SBIR Phase I contract and a member of the management team member of the company.

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No.HHSN261201500038C.

About Pointcare Genomics Corporation

Pointcare Genomics Corporation is a privately held early stage startup company headquartered in Madison (WI, USA). Company's goal is to develop innovative clinical diagnostic tests for the early detection, diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases such as cancers and heart diseases.

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