Exai Bio’s RNA sequencing-based liquid biopsy platform delivers promising data on detecting breast cancer at its earliest stages

Researchers at Exai Bio and UCSF have released data demonstrating that Exai’s novel, RNA-based liquid biopsy platform accurately detected breast cancer at the earliest stages and for the smallest tumors. 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 machine learning, detected breast cancer with high accuracy overall, including across all cancer stages and tumor sizes. The poster also showed that even at the earliest stages and smallest tumors, sensitivity was greater than 80% at 95% specificity. These findings suggest that Exai’s liquid biopsy test for earlier detection of cancer will improve care and outcomes for cancer patients.

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 from all major cancer types. This vast catalog gives the Exai platform several scientific and practical advantages over tests that focus on circulating tumor DNA.

These SABCS 2022 results complement and build on breast cancer data presented at SABCS 2021, where changes in oncRNAs reflected breast cancer treatment response, predicted overall survival and added significant information to standard clinical endpoints such as tumor tissue pathology.

With this study, Exai demonstrated again that oncRNAs can be used as a biomarker for earlier cancer detection from a blood sample. Exai recently presented results from a colorectal cancer patient cohort at the 2022 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting, where Exai’s RNA-based platform accurately detected colorectal cancer at the earliest stages and for the 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,” said Patrick Arensdorf, Chief Executive Officer of Exai. “The oncRNA-based liquid biopsy technology will be compatible with standard blood 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.”

Source – BusinessWire

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