The contract is the first large-scale adoption of the company’s Parsortix cell separation system, which isolates circulating tumour cells from a patient’s blood.
The company claims that looking for tumour cells in liquid blood has advantages over tissue biopsies. One of the claims is that it can capture intact cancer cells and the company believes long term monitoring of circulating tumour cells will prove ‘highly attractive’ to the pharmaceutical industry searching for new insights in cancer drug trials.
The customer is a pharma company with numerous cancer drugs under development and revenues exceeding $1 billion a year. The contract is expected to be worth up to $1.2 million over the next year and a half.
The work relates to a large phase three prostate cancer study and two smaller phase one studies, which could progress to larger phase two and three studies.
Founder and chief executive Andrew Newland believes that there is a substantial business opportunity in providing services to pharma and biotech customers to support cancer drug trials.
Today’s development demonstrates the company’s investment in clinical laboratories and pharma services is already delivering tangible results.
The laboratories offer clinical trial services as well as demonstrator facilities for customers wishing to purchase the Parsortix system.
Last month the company said that FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval of the Parsortix system if granted would occur in the second half of 2021.