John Butler, Co-Founder & CEO
Recent years have seen an explosion of discoveries around the diverse molecular and biological changes underlying cancer development and progression. These insights are changing the understanding of the complex pathways that regulate cancer cell biology, the interactions of cells with their microenvironment, and the mechanisms that restrain tumorigenesis. Importantly, researchers are translating these findings into innovative approaches toward cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and therapies. California based QuantumCyte, an early stage biotech company, has developed an innovative molecular profiling platform that transforms a patient’s tumor biopsies into deep, data-rich analysis for both, clinical and new drug discovery applications. “Our product is designed around enabling researchers to better understand a patient’s cancer on an individual level,” explains John Butler, Co-Founder and CEO of QuantumCyte.
Current workflows for studying a patient’s biopsy have multiple manual steps, and are prone to error, and produce noisy data. It begins with an oncologist performing a biopsy on a patient to collect samples, which are observed under a microscope. The data from the biopsy analysis is used to determine how to treat a patient’s cancer and also determine the extent of the disease. QuantumCyte’s platform simplifies this process by automating the analysis of tissue samples; thus, reducing human intervention and improving the turnaround time from many weeks to a few weeks.
Our product is designed around enabling researchers to better understand a patient’s cancer on an individual level
The data output is more precise leading to more accurate results. “Faster profiling can mean the difference between life and death for patients especially those suffering from advanced stages of cancer,” adds Butler.
Now, technological advances in molecular and genomic profiling of tumors have revealed that cancer is a heterogeneous disease. Therefore, it is imperative to have the most advanced tools to assess different treatment options and aid oncologists in personalizing cancer therapies for patients. Doctors, today, are limited to biomarker information from a couple of regions per tumor at best, which is insufficient to understand the variability across a patient’s tumor. The inability to get cross tumor biomarker data limits physicians from correlating the phenotypic variation observed to changes in biomarker information across the tumor, limiting the treatment options for patients. Q1 generates a vast amount of multifaceted information per tumor and brings automated analysis enabled by artificial intelligence and machine learning. This empowers doctors to provide more informed, personalized treatment options for patients.
The Q1 leverages the company’s proprietary and robust ArraySeQ chemistries and a novel reagent delivery system that enables the profiling of up to 100 individual sites for a patient’s tumor. Additionally, QuantumCyte’s next-generation optics from Intel allows process control that tracks of steps in the workflow to ensure low variability. The insights provided by the platform open the door to drug response, disease progression, and cell-to-cell interaction studies.
Currently, QuantumCyte’s Q1 is in the prototype stage and the company is collaborating with experts from major universities, a large chemical company, and a private group in Asia to conduct independent laboratory tests that will add to the platform’s credibility. The Q1 platform will be marketed on a subscription basis so that financial costs do not present a barrier for consumers, which include small and large hospitals, clinics, biotech companies, academic institutions, and pharmaceuticals. QuantumCyte’s focus is on helping cancer patients get better by providing a solution that will uncover the mechanism of action for drug resistance, patient relapse, disease progression, and cancer evolution. “We aim to improve cancer outcomes one patient at a time,” concludes Butler.