Ideas & Technologies

Creatv’s Early Detection of Cancer and Personalized Cancer Diagnostics

creatvCreatv MicroTech is a company that understands that cancer will, at some point, likely touch us, our families and friends. In the U.S. alone, 43% of men and 38% of women will develop cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer detected early at curable stage can result in high probability of long term survival. For example, early detection has greatly improved treatment outcomes for breast and colorectal cancers, but screening methods are limited or non-existent for most other cancers.

There is pressing need for a low cost, non-invasive method for early detection of cancer, to monitor for recurrence, and to determine residual disease at the end of treatment. A simple blood to achieve all these needs would be ideal. Creatv MicroTech’s newly discovered biomarker helps meet this need. The company discovered a previously unidentified cell in the blood of cancer patients, and then named circulating cancer associated macrophage-like cell (CAML), and published this in 2014.

The company has also developed a filtration system and blood-based cell biopsies. The company markets a manually operated filtration systems for research use that is rapid and straightforward. The CellSieveTM system provides a blood based cell biopsy of CAMLs, CTCs, and other cancer related cells, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition cells (EMTs), circulating endothelial cells (CECs), and cell clusters. Creatv has developed many assay techniques for a variety of clinical applications.

These cells are very large, 25-300 microns in size, and distinctly different from normal cells and circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The four most common 2 morphologies express markers associated with the cancer type. They are found in cancer patients with solid tumors, but not in healthy controls. CAMLs are found in all stages of cancer, including a high percentage in stage I patients, making it an ideal marker for early detection of cancer and cancer recurrence.

These techniques represent a breakthrough, in that the existing methods on the market have high false positive rates, resulting in concern about over-diagnosis and unneeded procedures. Early detection of all major cancers with high accuracy is needed. 

The typical methods to determine recurrence before the onset of symptoms utilize CT, PET/CT or MRI imaging. There are two drawbacks to imaging: 1) a lack of specificity, which may not accurately identify tumors (for example, inflammation that mimics tumor regrowth), and 2) insufficient sensitivity, which requires tumors to be large enough for visual identification. Typically, tumors must show growth over several serial images and be larger than 5 mm to be suspicious. Physical examination and imaging cannot provide the information needed to determine whether continued or alternative treatment is beneficial.

Creatv seeks a $10 M Series A funding for 1) development of FDA approvable automated filtration instrument, 2) development of semi-automated imaging acquisition and analysis system, and 3) preparation for and starting FDA approval for first intended use. Clinical trials for additional FDA approvals will require further rounds of capital, licensing, or strategic partnerships.

For more information, visit the company’s website.


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