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EKF, Angle Collaborate for Liquid Biopsy Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – EKF Molecular Diagnostics will collaborate with medical technology firm Angle for liquid biopsy development, the companies announced today.

The UK-headquartered companies aim to initially investigate applications for colorectal cancer diagnostics combining EKF's PointMan DNA enrichment technology with Angle’s Parsortix circulating tumor cell (CTC) harvesting platform.

Parsortix is based on a microfluidic device that captures cells using assessments of size and compressibility. PointMan, meanwhile, preferentially amplifies variant sequences while suppressing amplification of wild type DNA, and is sensitive enough to work with single-cell levels of starting material, the company said in a statement. 

"The high purity of the CTCs harvested by Angle’s Parsortix system and the absence of immunomagnetic beads gives us confidence that it will be effective, with the Parsortix-harvested CTCs providing rapid molecular information to the oncologist," said Andy Webb, CEO of EKF Molecular Diagnostics.

EKF's molecular subsidiary was established about two years ago with the acquisition of cancer diagnostics company 360 Genomics. Recently, the firm signed a two-year research collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital to develop lung, breast, and skin cancer mutations diagnostics, and entered into a conditional agreement to acquire US-based of molecular diagnostics developer Selah Genomics as well as DiaSpect Medical, a Swedish manufacturer of point-of-care hemoglobin analyzers.

Last year, preliminary results of a collaboration with Swansea University in Wales demonstrated that the PointMan technology could enhance detection of blood biomarkers in metastatic melanoma. EKF has also previously reported positive results from CTC studies in an ongoing collaboration with Gilupi, a Potsdam, Germany-based medical device company.