SAN DIEGO, Aug. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For her work in the field of biotechnology and medicine, Epic Sciences' Dena Marrinucci, Ph.D., has been recognized as an entrepreneur on the list for her groundbreaking work in developing and advancing a new technology to unlock the promise of using a simple blood test, called a liquid biopsy, to manage cancer treatments.
The deadliest cancers consist of multiple cell types driven by different mutations. During the course of treatment and the disease, rare cells gain new mutations that confer resistance to a therapy. Undetected, these cells grow and evolve, resulting in metastatic cancers that are heterogeneous and difficult to treat. Dr. Marrinucci helped develop a new, unbiased, rare cell detection and analysis technology to address this urgent need.
By identifying and characterizing all types of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample, the no cell left behind® technology is designed to give real-time insight into how heterogeneous a patient's cancer is and how it is responding to treatment. In addition, this technology is being developed to include single cell analysis of genetic and proteomic aberrations to guide tailored and timely treatments, including combination therapies.
"We can not wait for cancer metastases to show on PET scans and imaging technologies to know when a therapy is not working," said Dr. Marrinucci, chief scientific officer of Epic Sciences. "CTC based testing holds the promise of delivering real-time therapeutic monitoring, whereas historical approaches do not have the needed sensitivity and reproducibility. We developed our novel technology because, to fight this disease, we need an accurate picture at any point in time of all the types of deadly cancer cells, down to the rarest ones that make up a patient's specific cancer; because you can't hit what you can't see."
Dr. Marrinucci co-founded Epic Sciences in 2008 to commercialize the technology. Today Epic Sciences has partnered with a number of pharmaceutical companies who have integrated the technology in conjunction with 50 different active clinical trials of drugs for specific cancers. Epic Sciences also works with top oncologists and cancer research centers around the world to bring the most advanced liquid biopsy technology to patients.
"Over the years, we've had success in choosing young innovators whose work has been profoundly influential on the direction of human affairs," said editor in chief and publisher Jason Pontin. "Previous winners include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the cofounders of Google; Mark Zuckerberg, the cofounder of Facebook; and Jonathan Ive, the chief designer of Apple. We're proud of our selections and the variety of achievements they celebrate, and we're proud to add Dr. Dena Marrinucci to this prestigious list."
This year's honorees will be featured online at www.technologyreview.com starting today, and in the September/October print magazine, which hits newsstands worldwide on September 1. They will appear in person at the upcoming EmTech MIT conference November 2–4 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (www.EmTechMIT.com).
About MIT Technology Review
MIT Technology Review, which is wholly owned by MIT, creates award-winning technology-related editorial content on a variety of platforms for an audience of millions of business leaders, innovators, and thought leaders, in six languages and in 147 countries. At www.technologyreview.com, readers access daily news and analysis, and the award-winning MIT Technology Review magazine has set the standard for technology publications since 1899. In addition to producing engaging live events, the company manages the global entrepreneurial organization MIT Enterprise Forum.
About Epic Sciences
Epic Sciences, Inc. is developing novel diagnostics to personalize and advance the treatment and management of cancer. Epic Sciences' mission is to enable the rapid and non-invasive detection of genetic and molecular changes in cancer throughout a patient's journey. The company was founded on a powerful platform to identify and characterize rare cells, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Epic Sciences' no cell left behind™ technology helps match patients to targeted therapies and monitor for drug resistance, so that the best treatment path can be chosen at every clinical decision point. Today, we partner with leading pharmaceutical companies and major cancer centers around the world. Epic Sciences' goal is to commercialize our technology to increase the success rate of cancer drugs in clinical trials and improve patient outcomes by providing physicians real-time information to guide treatment choices.
SOURCE Epic Sciences, Inc.