Vortex Biosciences Announces Publication in Nature Scientific Reports Describing the Measurement of PD-L1 Expression on Circulating Tumor Cells

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CTC PD-L1 Expression Could Supplement Tissue PD-L1 Measurements to Aid in Patient Selection and Cancer Status Monitoring for Immunotherapy Treatments

PD-L1 expression analysis can now be performed on CTCs isolated by the VTX-1 system, opening up the potential to improve the understanding of how the expression levels are changing on tumor cells throughout a patient’s disease and improve treatment.

Vortex Biosciences, provider of circulating tumor cell (CTC) capture systems, today announced the publication of “Evaluation of PD-L1 expression on vortex-isolated circulating tumor cells in metastatic lung cancer” in Nature Scientific Reports on February 7th. The peer reviewed publication describes the use of the Vortex technology to capture CTCs and a novel immunofluorescence assay for measuring programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression on the surface of the CTCs. Reasonable correlation between the PD-L1 expression on the CTCs and on paired tissue biopsy samples was observed, suggesting that CTCs may offer a way to monitor PD-L1 status on tumor cells over the course of a patient treatment from simple non-invasive blood draws.

Overexpression of PD-L1 has been identified as a pathway that metastatic tumor cells use to evade immune detection. PD-L1 binds to PD-1 on T-cells and suppresses their activity. Immunotherapy based on inhibition of PD-1 or PD-L1 represents a breakthrough in the treatment of advanced cancers. Today, solid tumor patients are screened for PD-L1 expression on their tumor cells following a tissue biopsy. PD-L1 expression levels have been demonstrated to be a reasonable biomarker for stratifying patients that will respond better to immunotherapy treatments.

Utilizing biopsies for this patient stratification does have its limitations. Specifically, tumor biopsies are risky, expensive and cannot be performed serially to understand cancer status throughout the course of a treatment. Measuring PD-L1 expression on CTCs through a simple blood draw enables a low cost, low risk approach to initial patient stratification and presents an opportunity to monitor PD-L1 expression on patient tumor cells over the course of the disease.

"PD-L1 is a critical biomarker for identifying patients that can respond better to immunotherapy,“ said Gene Walther, Chief Executive Officer of Vortex Biosciences.

The fully automated VTX-1 Liquid Biopsy System from Vortex represents the next step in CTC isolation. With a cancer cell recovery of >60%, best in class CTC purity, and collected CTCs being intact, viable, and ready for downstream analysis, the VTX-1 offers the best CTC samples available today. The VTX-1 utilizes a proprietary microfluidic chip to stably trap and capture CTCs in micro-scale vortices based on their larger size and greater deformability than the white and red blood cells. The isolated CTCs can then be analyzed by a wide range of analytical techniques including next gen sequencing (NGS), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH), and immunostaining enabling CTCs to become the basis for diagnostic decisions.

About Vortex Biosciences

Vortex Biosciences is a cancer research and diagnostics company that integrates cancer biology, microfluidic engineering and informatics to develop tools for isolating and characterizing circulating tumor cells. The Vortex VTX-1 instrument harvests intact circulating tumor cells from whole blood samples for use in downstream research and clinical applications such as patient stratification in clinical trials, monitoring disease progression and drug treatment effectiveness. With a mission to enable noninvasive diagnosis of cancer and real-time monitoring throughout a patient’s treatment, Vortex is at the forefront of accelerating cancer research and improving patient outcomes. Vortex is a core subsidiary of NetScientific plc, a transatlantic healthcare technology group with an investment strategy focused on sourcing, funding and commercializing technologies that significantly improve the health and well-being of people with chronic diseases. For more information, visit http://www.vortexbiosciences.com.

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Steve Crouse
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