Specialty cancer diagnostics company Precipio Inc., has entered into a collaboration agreement with a NY-based academic healthcare institution to jointly develop a panel for Glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive brain cancer, based on Precipio’s HemeScreen technology.

Precipio will design and develop a panel that combines a select number of genes that provide prognostic and therapeutic markers for this form of cancer. The institution (currently the name of the institution remains confidential) will contribute patient samples for the development process, its clinical know-how and expertise of its clinicians, and it intends to be the first to use the panel clinically once the panel development is completed.

Further Reading: Biomarker for Brain Cancer Blood Test Identified

Glioblastoma is a deadly form of brain cancer that forms in the astrocyte cells (which support the nerve cells), and can form in the brain or spinal cord. The median survival rate is 15 months, with less than 5% of diagnosed patients surviving beyond 5 years.

As with many forms of cancer, obtaining information on the molecular composition of the tumor can inform treatment options. Currently available testing options deliver a TAT of between 10 and 30 days, which is often too late to affect treatment. The ability to order a rapid panel that can return results within a matter of days may provide options of targeted therapies, and have a significant impact on patients with this deadly disease.

Precipio’s R&D team estimates a development time of under 4 months for this assay, and a cost of less than $50,000, which the company says is an unprecedented speed and development cost in this industry.

“This is our first step into a field where we can adapt our technology to create new panels for various diseases beyond blood-related cancers,” says Ilan Danieli CEO. “This project demonstrates the flexibility of our HemeScreen technology and our team’s ability to develop such assays rapidly and cost effectively, and serves as further validation of our unique business model. We are excited to be able to collaborate with such institutions to develop technologies that can have a significant impact on patient care.”