Vitatex, a Stony Brook-based biotechnology company located in the Long Island High Technology Incubator, has announced that it was awarded an SBIR Phase I/II Fast Track contract in September 2015 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for its Vita-Cap™ CTC Capture and Preservation tubes. A modification to exercise the option for a two-year SBIR Phase II of the contract was executed on June 8, 2016.
Vitatex Inc. provides proprietary invasive circulating tumor cell (iCTC) enrichment technology and products to develop revolutionary cancer genetic and cell tests. These “liquid biopsies” focus on next generation sequencing (NGS) detection, gene expression profiling and flow cytometry and have recently been adopted by the clinical laboratory community to characterize cancer cells and/or their RNA/DNA in blood samples non-invasively and serially, and to acquire genetic alternations and drug resistance information, which have the potential to replace tests run on surgical biopsies.
Clinical metastasis of solid tumors is linked to blood-borne dissemination of viable tumor cells in the circulation and clinical instrumentation is now available to isolate, enumerate, culture, generate metastatic mouse models and perform molecular analyses on these circulating tumor cells (CTCs). However, CTCs are fragile and tend to degrade within a few days when collected in standard blood collection tubes.
“The functional CTC preparation tube is designed to collect, enrich and preserve the viability/functionality of cancer cells in blood all within a closed system” said Wen-Tien Chen, PhD., Chief Scientific Officer of Vitatex. “The goal is to define conditions of Vitatex CTC preparation tubes for capturing and preserving cancer cells in the blood of patients with breast, ovarian and other types for up to 96 hours of transit.”
Specific terms of the contract were not disclosed.