Multi-biomarker cancer (lat. Carcinoma) blood test that surveys for an increased genetic risk of 24 cancers including lung, colorectal, and prostate was developed by CellMax Life. The company is preventing and detecting cancer early even before symptoms appear with highly accurate, clinically validated, routine blood-draw based tests to detect and analyze rare tumor cells (CTCs). To achieve the mission of transforming how cancer is diagnosed and managed with globally affordable non-invasive tests for early cancer detection and management, the company has built a team of experts across multiple disciplines, including circulating tumor cells, imaging, instrumentation, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, software and oncology diagnostics commercialization.
The company's proprietary platform- microfluidic chip, antibody, and imaging software- has enabled to be the only company to overcome the “intractable” challenge of detecting rare CTCs in pre-cancer and early-stage patients, when cancer can be successfully treated. The company’s product is a multi-biomarker blood test for early detection of colorectal cancer, which is currently marketed in Taiwan. CellMax life also provides a saliva-based genetic cancer test. CellMax Life's patents have been granted for biomimetic platform CMx, which detects circulating tumor cells (CTC). The patents cover the entire detection workflow, from the capture of very rare CTCs present at fewer than five cells per billion normal cells in early-stage cancer to the processes ensuring their intact release and identification by means of advanced imaging techniques, allowing CellMax Life to detect CTCs in up to 90 percent of samples. In addition to these six U.S. patents, there are also 16 global patents issued and several additional patents pending in its growing portfolio.
The CellMax CMx platform has its origins in research conducted on biomimetic smart materials and interfaces by Professor Ying Chih Chang at Stanford University. It captures CTCs in a process that involves passing two milliliters (ml) of blood through a microfluidic chip with patented surface coating – a biomimetic structure that mimics the human cell surface membrane. This membrane with custom monoclonal antibody promotes collaborative binding of CTCs, prevents non-CTC cells (such as blood cells) from sticking to the chip, and retains CTCs tightly during a gentle buffer purification. Using an air-foam technique to safely release the viable CTCs to an Eppendorf tube, the eluted cells can be placed on a slide for staining and enumeration. A patented imaging technique is utilized to locate and identify the CTCs for analysis. The eluted cells can also be cultured and used in a downstream molecular analysis, including next-generation sequencing of DNA and RNA and proteomics.
Results of a clinical study utilizing CellMax’s CTC Platform demonstrated that a blood-test developed using the CTC platform can detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, and even detect pre-cancer, with accuracy ranging from 84 to 88 percent by locating and identifying CTCs.