Exai Bio and researchers at UCSF released data demonstrating that Exai’s novel, RNA-based liquid biopsy platform accurately detected breast cancer at the earliest stages and smallest tumor sizes. Earlier detection of breast cancer is crucial for optimal patient outcomes but cannot always be achieved based on symptoms or mammography.
Exai’s technology uses RNA sequencing to identify a novel category of cancer-associated, small non-coding RNAs, termed orphan non-coding RNAs (oncRNAs). In a poster entitled, “Early-stage breast cancer detection using orphan noncoding RNAs”, presented at the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Exai demonstrated that oncRNA biomarkers in blood, combined with deep machine learning, detected breast cancer with high accuracy overall, including across all cancer stages and tumor sizes. The poster further demonstrates that even at the earliest stages and smallest tumors, sensitivity was greater than 80%. These findings suggest that Exai’s RNA-based liquid biopsy platform for earlier detection of cancer could meaningfully improve care and outcomes for cancer patients.
With this study, we again demonstrate that oncRNAs can be used as a biomarker for earlier cancer detection from a blood draw. oncRNAs are secreted from cancer cells and are abundant in the blood of cancer patients.. Exai has created a catalog of hundreds of thousands of oncRNAs found in all major cancer types. This vast catalog gives the Exai platform several scientific and practical advantages over tests that rely on circulating tumor DNA.
These 2022 SABCS results also complement and build on the breast cancer data presented at SABCS 2021 where changes in oncRNAs reflected breast cancer treatment response, predicted overall survival and added significant information to other clinical endpoints such as tumor tissue pathology. More recently, we presented results from a colorectal cancer patient cohort at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in September 2022, where our RNA-based platform accurately predicted colorectal cancer at the earliest stages and smallest tumors.
“Our results presented at SABCS 2022 represent another important step in establishing the role of oncRNAs in addressing the unmet need of detecting cancer at its earliest stages from a simple blood sample,” says Patrick Arensdorf, chief executive officer of Exai. “The oncRNA-based liquid biopsy technology will be compatible with standard sample requirements enabling easy integration into conventional clinical workflows. Exai’s goal is to improve patient care with a variety of liquid biopsy tests for early cancer detection and monitoring of residual disease and recurrence in multiple types of cancer.”