ThinkCyte and National Cancer Center Japan Jointly Awarded AMED Grant for Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells

Tokyo, Japan | July 9, 2020

ThinkCyte, a company focusing on the development of novel cell therapy, drug screening, and clinical diagnostic platforms, and National Cancer Center Japan (NCCJ) have been jointly awarded a Development of Advanced Measurement and Analysis Systems grant from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) for the research and development of a high-accuracy method to isolate circulating tumor cells (CTCs) using Ghost Cytometry™ for genetic cancer profiling. Shinji Kosaka, M.D., Ph.D., Unit Leader of NCCJ, will lead the project in collaboration with Yoko Kawamura, Ph.D., Head of Applied Microfluidics of ThinkCyte.

A liquid biopsy is a test conducted using a sample of body fluids, primarily blood, to detect cells or pieces of DNA from the cancer cells circulating in the body fluids. This test is considered as a simple and non-invasive alternative to surgical biopsies that provides a broad range of information for the diagnosis and characterization of cancers. Several methods are currently available to perform CTC diagnostics; however, the existing methods can still be ameliorated for sensitivity and specificity.

Using ThinkCyte’s proprietary Ghost Cytometry technology, ThinkCyte and NCCJ together aim to establish a novel CTC diagnostic method to ensure high-throughput and high-accuracy isolation of CTCs and detect genomic mutations in the isolated cells for the development of personalized medicine. This will institute a liquid biopsy test that could enable the molecular profiling of cancer cells over time, leading to the improvement of patient prognosis by selecting the optimal course of treatment and the advancement of research and development in drug discovery and treatment resistance.

The AMED grant program will allow ThinkCyte to further accelerate the development and commercialization of novel treatment and diagnostic platforms using integrated multidisciplinary technologies.