ArcherDX, Inc., a molecular technology company dedicated to developing breakthrough solutions that advance the application of personalized genomic medicine, today announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with the University College London (UCL) and the Francis Crick Institute to use ArcherDX’s proprietary Anchored Multiplex PCR (AMP™) technology to detect evidence of disease recurrence in lung cancer patients from cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as part of the Cancer Research UK funded UCL-sponsored TRACERx study (TRAcking lung CancEr evolution through treatment (Rx)).
"...This collaboration with ArcherDX will help towards achieving our goal of a more personalised approach to developing cancer treatments." Professor Charles Swanton, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher for the TRACERx study
Preliminary findings from the TRACERx clinical study were published in Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017. In the publication, UCL and the TRACERx investigators demonstrated that a patient-specific approach to circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) profiling could be used to characterize Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) in patients who have undergone potentially curative surgery for lung cancer. Early detection of changes in ctDNA burden after the initiation of curative therapy has been associated in clinical literature with poor disease free survival. In collaboration with ArcherDX, the UCL and TRACERx investigators aim to expand upon these initial findings by developing patient- specific assays based on anchored multiplex-PCR (AMP) technology to detect low-volume MRD at high levels of sensitivity and characterize the phylogenetic and neoantigen landscape of relapsing NSCLC.
"As we expand upon and progress our research, exploring lung cancer in an unprecedented level of detail, this collaboration with ArcherDX will help towards achieving our goal of a more personalised approach to developing cancer treatments," said Professor Charles Swanton, M.D., Ph.D., lead researcher for the TRACERx study.
"We are thrilled to be working with Professor Charles Swanton and UCL," said Josh Stahl, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of ArcherDX. "This collaboration aligns closely with ArcherDX’s mission to expand access and adoption of personalized medicine in oncology. We’ve spent the last five years developing and continually evolving our technology for complex and groundbreaking applications like those being studied in the TRACERx study. We are especially pleased to be a part of this study as it has the potential to fundamentally transform patient care in early stage lung cancer."
Financial terms of the collaboration are not being disclosed.
ArcherDX is advancing molecular pathology with a robust technology platform for genetic mutation detection by next-generation sequencing. By combining patented Anchored Multiplexed PCR (AMP™) chemistry in an easy-to-use, lyophilized format and powerful bioinformatics software, the Archer® platform dramatically enhances genetic mutation identification and discovery. ArcherDX provides oncology-focused research products and is pursuing regulatory approval for multiple companion diagnostic assays.
ArcherDX is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.
Matt Franklin, Chief Business Officer
UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine.
We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables, and are committed to changing the world for the better.
Our community of over 41,500 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff pursues academic excellence, breaks boundaries and makes a positive impact on real world problems.
The Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.
An independent organisation, its founding partners are the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.
The Crick was formed in 2015, and in 2016 it moved into a brand new state-of-the-art building in central London which brings together 1500 scientists and support staff working collaboratively across disciplines, making it the biggest biomedical research facility under a single roof in Europe.
 TRACERx (Tracking Cancer Evolution through therapy (Rx)) is the single biggest investment in lung cancer research by Cancer Research UK. Taking place over nine years, the translational research programme is the first study to look at the evolution of cancer in real time and immense detail. Researchers follow patients with lung cancer all the way from diagnosis through to either disease relapse or cure after surgery, tracking and analysing how their cancer develops. TRACERx is led by UCL (University College London) via the Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence and also supported by the National Institute for Health Research, University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, Francis Crick Institute and the Rosetrees Trust.
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