Labcyte Inc, Sunnyvale, Calif, and Notable Labs, San Francisco, have announced a collaboration to apply Labcyte’s Echo acoustic liquid handling technology to screen individual cancer patients’ tumor cells. The functional screening identifies which available drugs or drug combinations may be most effective at treating their cancer.
“Our service is designed to provide information that may help clinicians prioritize the best available options for individualized patient care in an actionable timeframe,” says Pete Quinzio, cofounder of Notable Labs. “Our belief is that testing drugs directly on patients’ cancer cells will lead to a better understanding of biological mechanisms of disease, improve treatment success, and reduce unnecessary side effects.”
Labcyte’s acoustic liquid handling technology uses sound energy to transfer samples and reagents precisely, accurately, and cost-effectively. Acoustic liquid handling technology is contactless, eliminating the use of pipettes and reducing the volumes required for compounds and samples. The absence of pipettes reduces the potential for cross-contamination. Furthermore, the process also requires only a small amount of sample, enabling scientists to test the patient’s tumor cells against a greater number of drugs from a single sample.
Notable Labs will utilize Labcyte’s Echo liquid handler in a fully automated, high-throughput laboratory to functionally assess the effects of FDA-approved drugs on live primary cancer cells from individual patients. The various chemotherapies, targeted agents, and nononcology classes of drugs can be tested alone and in combinations to identify efficacy and specificity against cancer.
“Augmenting today’s precision medicine efforts with functional screening could dramatically improve outcomes for patients and reduce healthcare costs by utilizing a more comprehensive data set to identify potential drug or drug combinations for an individual patient,” says Mark Fischer-Colbrie, CEO of Labcyte. “With such promise for saving lives, we are committed to doing everything we can to accelerate the development of this strategy and expand its use.”