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PreCyte Awarded $300K Grant to Develop Lung Cancer Diagnostic

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PreCyte has received a one-year, $300,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a blood-based lung cancer diagnostic based on its core Indicator Cell Assay Platform (ICAP) technology.

ICAP was originally developed at the Institute for Systems Biology in the lab of company Co-founder John Aitchison and involves the use of cultured cells as biosensors, exposing them to patient serum and analyzing the transcriptional effect.

With the NCI funding, PreCyte aims to develop the ICAP technology for diagnosing lung cancer in patients with indeterminate pulmonary nodules identified by imaging, according to the grant's abstract. Specifically, the company plans to identify the optimal cells for a lung cancer assay, develop a classifier to distinguish patients with cancer from those with benign lung nodules using serum, and validate the assay in additional patient samples.

PreCyte said that it expects to test the assay in additional patient cohorts if it is able to achieve greater than 90 percent predictive accuracy with 70 percent sensitivity and specificity in this preliminary work.

Last year, PreCyte received a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an ICAP-based diagnostic for Alzheimer's disease.