NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – ApoCell said Wednesday that it has been awarded a $2.9 million contract by SAIC-Frederick to develop and deliver 12 alpha prototype units of ApoCell's circulating tumor cell detection system.
The order from SAIC-Frederick, in support of the National Cancer Institute, is the first commercial order for the system called ApoStream. ApoCell said it expects to deliver the units to SAIC-Frederick in early 2013.
The funding is being provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
ApoStream is based on a process called dielectrophoresis field flow fractionation, or DEP-FFF, to separate cancer cells in blood by using a low-level electrical field of varying frequencies. The method, ApoStream said, has been shown to detect and select "significant quantities" of circulating cancer cells from small quantities of blood, including rare cell types that previously went undetected.
ApoStream also captures the cells alive so that they can be used for additional analytical testing.
The technology was developed at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Laboratory of Diagnostic Microsystems, and ApoCell has an exclusive license to it.