A new diagnostic system defines patient-specific efficacy of anticancer drugs by testing in-vitro drug response of patient’s tumor cells
Bologna (Italy) – May 24, 2018 – Cellply, an Italian medtech company specialized in in-vitro diagnostic systems aiming at supporting personalized oncology treatment, announced to have been selected by the European Commission among the winners of the prestigious Horizon 2020 – SME Instrument program, obtaining €2.3m funding for the Oncosmart project. Cellply achieved this result after a highly competitive selection process which resulted in only 64 European companies funded among 1280 applicants. The grant received by Cellply is the largest one among the 9 Italian companies funded in the last SME Instrument call and one of the largest at EU level since the start of the SME instrument program in 2014.
Today anticancer drugs are beneficial to a small number of patients, with failure rates up to 75%. The use of DNA sequencing-based precision medicine tests often produces limited improvements due to their low accuracy when used to predict treatments response. Moreover, 60-70% of the patients do not feature known genetic mutations. Cellply developed the first standardized and automated system able to predict patients’ response to more than 10 therapies tested in parallel in just 24 hours and with high accuracy. Cellply’s test results are independent from the genetic makeup of the patient or its tumor. It evaluates the in-vitro ability of anticancer drugs to affect the activity of tumor cells and induce their death. This technology is able to evaluate anticancer drug combinations at different dosing schemes and future immunotherapies testing is planned. Cellply’s platform will also support clinical trials identifying the most suitable therapeutic indications for drugs under investigation and stratifying patients by identifying non-responders in advance.
«Cellply has a great opportunity to make a pivotal change in cancer care. We are very honored to receive this recognition that will accelerate the development of our platform and its clinical validation, by involving an important network of European oncology institutes» reports Massimo Bocchi, President and CEO at Cellply. «The results we obtained during initial clinical tests on acute leukemias showed the possibility to predict the action of anticancer drugs before they are administered to patients, with a precision beyond our expectations. Our goal is to make cancer treatment individualized and allow each patient to receive the most suitable drugs selected through a predictive test run on his own tumor cells».
Cellply, based in Bologna (Italy), was founded in 2013 by two engineers, Prof. Roberto Guerrieri from the University of Bologna and Massimo Bocchi. In 2014 the company started the development of an in-vitro diagnostic platform allowing to isolate a tiny amount of live tumor cells sampled from patients within 20,000 microwells and analyze the action of multiple drugs in parallel by means of proprietary algorithms to predict the response of the patient to candidate drug therapies. Cellply has already secured equity funding from Italian investors, namely the business angels from Italian Angels for Growth association, Atlante Seed venture capital fund managed by Indaco Venture Partners Sgr and Ingenium II Fund from Emilia Romagna Region managed by Meta Ventures. For more information, please visit www.cellply.com
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