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Guildford, UK – ANGLE plc, the specialist medtech company, is delighted to announce that its Parsortix system has been formally adopted in the ongoing European wide GANNET53 drug trial, an ovarian cancer study.
GANNET53 is a large scale FP7 research project funded by the European Commission investigating use of the drug Ganetespib in metastatic, p53 mutant, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The project started in October 2013 and runs for 5.5 years with a budget of €6 million. The molecular results in relation to GANNET53 outcomes will be available at the end of the trial in 2019. More details about the trial are given below.
The Medical University of Vienna, under the leadership of Professor Robert Zeillinger is responsible for the Companion Diagnostics part of the trial, which stipulates that “CTC analysis before and during experimental therapy will be performed and evaluated for its value to monitor responsiveness to Ganetespib”. The Medical University of Vienna team has worked for many years with a wide range of CTC systems, both those commercially available from ANGLE’s competitors and new technologies under development including commercial and academic systems. Due to lack of suitable cell surface markers, antibody-based CTC systems are ineffective for ovarian cancer. The best result that has been obtained to date with other non-antibody based systems is a CTC detection sensitivity level of 24.5% (i.e. capturing CTCs from only one quarter of ovarian cancer patients).
Following the Medical University of Vienna’s results with ANGLE’s Parsortix system showing “unprecedented sensitivity and specificity” announced on 27 January 2015, ANGLE were invited by the consortium to participate in the study. The Medical University of Vienna commenced testing of GANNET53 blood samples for CTCs using Parsortix in May 2015. ANGLE’s participation is through the provision of Parsortix loan instruments and cassettes.
The key objectives for ANGLE’s participation in the trial are to (i) to obtain evidence of the capability of the Parsortix system to harvest cancer cells from patient blood for analysis in large scale studies to support sales of the system into other drug trials and (ii) with regard to this specific trial, the possibility that, if the GANNET53 trial is successful, the Parsortix might subsequently be utilised as a companion diagnostic to identify patient responders for Ganetespib.
Formal contractual processes involving the GANNET53 project partners and the European Commission have been protracted given the large number of partners involved and have just been completed. The initial performance of the Parsortix system can now be reported. The GANNET53 results so far are that:
The Medical University of Vienna are in the process of analysing the RNA markers found in the Parsortix harvests to determine their presence or absence. The study is blinded so correlation of the results with the patient response or otherwise to the drug has not yet been evaluated.
Professor Robert Zeillinger, Head of the Molecular Oncology Group at the Medical
University of Vienna, commented: “For the first time, using the Parsortix system, we can now reliably access ovarian cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis. This opens up completely new approaches to drug development in ovarian cancer and has the potential for wide applicability in other
ovarian cancer drug trials.”
ANGLE Founder and Chief Executive, Andrew Newland, commented: “The integration of our system into drug trials is a key objective in order to grow research use sales. Today’s news follows Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute’s recent incorporation of Parsortix for routine use in their clinical trials. Performance demonstrated in the GANNET53 trial and the capability developed by Medical University of Vienna to analyse the cancer cells has the potential to open new markets for Parsortix.”