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Terumo BCT Joins CANCER-ID Consortium


Public-private partnership aims to standardize and clinically validate blood-based biomarkers

LAKEWOOD, Colo., USA—[May 24, 2017]—Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, today announced it has joined CANCER-ID, a public-private European consortium working to establish standard protocols and clinical validation for blood-based biomarkers of cancer. CANCER-ID is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), bringing together 38 partners from 13 countries.

Cancer treatment is often hampered by late diagnosis, lack of prognostic indicators, and limited ability to monitor and personalize treatment. The goal of the consortium is to establish the clinical utility of liquid biopsies which are non-invasive blood tests that detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and fragments of tumor DNA that are shed into the blood from the primary tumor or metastatic sites.

CTC’s are promising biomarkers for detection and diagnosis of systemic cancers. CTCs could potentially help physicians and scientists plot the molecular signature of an individual’s tumor over time, monitor tumor responsiveness to therapy, and identify targets for the development of personalized therapies. To date, the infrequent detection of CTCs has hindered clinical implementation and potential use in liquid biopsies for cancer diagnosis and therapy.1

Terumo BCT’s Spectra Optia® Apheresis System, an FDA-cleared and CE marked device for use in therapeutic apheresis and cell collection procedures, is currently used in hospitals and apheresis centers around the world. Spectra Optia will be incorporated into CANCER-ID research efforts that will evaluate diagnostic leukapheresis (DLA) as a means to capture and harvest larger numbers of CTCs1. This research may identify a role for the Spectra Optia system in future diagnostic processes.

Terumo BCT is pleased to partner with CANCER-ID, furthering the consortium's mission of developing standards and conducting clinical validation to enable broad adoption of reliable molecular analyses from liquid biopsies.

"We are delighted to be included in CANCER-ID as an industry partner and to provide the Spectra Optia system as a potential new tool for physicians as they seek to improve the diagnosis and treatment of disease. As a partner to the consortium, we further our commitment to research and innovation that advances personalized medicine with a specific focus on immuno-oncology," says Monte Smith, Vice President, Global Therapeutic Systems, Terumo BCT.

According to Dr. Thomas Schlange, Senior Biomarker Scientist, Global Biomarker Research, Bayer Pharma AG, "CANCER-ID is an excellent example of a public-private partnership enabling collaborative research to develop modern cancer therapy. This consortium brings together an international team of global biomarker experts that extends far beyond the scope of traditional 'one-on-one' industry-academia collaborations."

CANCER-ID’s initial evaluation phase will be followed by a clinical phase, running until 2020, with a goal to establish the use of liquid biopsies in evaluating the progress of lung and breast cancer treatments.

1Fischer JC, et al. Proc.Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2013; 110:16580-16585.

Disclaimer: This press release reflects the author's view and that neither IMI nor the European Union, EFPIA, or any Associated Partners are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

About Terumo BCT
Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.

About the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)
This CANCER-ID project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115749. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA. IMI is working to improve health by accelerating the development of, and patient access to, innovative medicines, particularly in areas where there is an unmet medical or social need. It does this by facilitating collaboration between the key players involved in healthcare research, including universities, the pharmaceutical and other industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), patient organizations and medicines regulators.

IMI is a partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry, represented by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Through the IMI 2 programme, IMI has a budget of €3.3 billion for the period 2014-2024. Half of this comes from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The other half comes from large companies, mostly from the pharmaceutical sector; these do not receive any EU funding, but contribute to the projects 'in kind', for example by donating their researchers' time or providing access to research facilities or resources.

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