PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Liquid Biotech USA, Inc. (LB) today announced that it had raised $2M in seed capital from a corporate investor, Oncolys Biopharma, Inc. (TYO:4588). LB, a spin out from the Penn Center for Innovation, the University of Pennsylvania's commercialization organization, will use the capital to further develop and refine its proprietary technology. The LB technology can identify, then isolate, individual circulating tumor cells (CTCs)—cells frequently found in the blood of cancer patients—from liquid biopsies. The identification and analysis of CTCs can lead to better prognostic and diagnostic tests, and offers a new approach to uncover novel cancer pathways, thus permitting development of next-generation cancer therapeutics.
"The high mortality rate seen in advanced cancer is due to the highly disseminated, metastatic nature of the disease," said Dr. Philip M. Sass, Chairman, President, and CEO of Liquid Biotech USA, Inc. "Our technology can provide a non-invasive, more sensitive, and rapid diagnostic test to potentially detect metastatic cancer earlier. Moreover, because we can isolate individual tumor cells from cancer patients in real time, we can use the isolated CTCs derived directly from cancer patients to develop innovative biomarkers, discover novel cancer pathways, and potentially allow the oncologist to change the patient's therapy in real time to match the cancer cells' genetics as cancer cells mutate during the course of treatment."
"We are excited to have the support of our corporate sponsor, Oncolys Biopharma, Inc. (OBP) for both their technology and their confidence to support us financially to further develop the technology," stated Jeffrey M. Janco, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Liquid Biotech USA, Inc. "The funding we have obtained gives us a good runway to develop proof-of-concept that our diagnostic test has the sensitivity to detect cancer in a clinical setting."
About Liquid Biotech USA:
Liquid Biotech USA, Inc.'s mission is to employ our novel, proprietary technology to measure circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in cancer patients in order to develop sensitive, non-invasive diagnostic testing. LB supports internal, corporate, and academic research by analyzing isolated individual CTCs by employing whole genomic DNA sequencing technology, uncovering novel biomarkers as well as new cancer pathways to support drug development.
About PCI, PCI Ventures and UPstart:
The Penn Center for Innovation's (PCI) mission is to empower ideas into becoming real world solutions that benefit society. As a one-stop-shop for all innovation and commercialization needs, PCI facilitates industry-sponsored research, corporate alliances, straight licensing, and new venture creation. Within PCI, the PCI Ventures team provides new company formation services for Penn's leading research and innovations. PCI Ventures actively seeks entrepreneurs and investors to lead companies and to provide funding for new ventures. PCI Ventures also provides a suite of products and services to incubate the development of early stage technology-based businesses.
UPstart, one of the services at PCI Ventures, is a virtual incubator that helps scientists and innovators to form and launch new companies based on selected inventions and innovative technologies. Since 2010, UPstart has worked with more than 100 faculty and staff members, bringing their discoveries to the commercial market. UPstart currently supports more than 50 companies, collectively obtaining $7.5 million in funding. The UPstart portfolio includes companies in life sciences, medical devices, healthcare management, advanced materials, information technology, and robotics.
Dr. Philip M. Sass
Chairman, President and CEO
Liquid Biotech USA, Inc.
SOURCE Liquid Biotech USA, Inc.