Detecting cancer, before it’s too late…
Cyclomics is a Dutch startup company founded in 2018 by scientists of the UMC Utrecht. Its ambition is to transform cancer care by enabling faster and more reliable diagnoses, particularly in the context of cancer recurrence thanks to its proprietary circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) detection technology.
Mission – Accurate measurement of cancer recurrence and monitoring of treatment responses are important clinical needs in cancer diagnostics. The limitations of existing (imaging-based) methods poses a significant impediment to effective (re-)treatment and overall survival. The mission of Cyclomics is to address this challenge through an innovative solution for early cancer detection called CyclomicsSeq. This solution consists of a new diagnostic kit that can disrupt the cancer diagnostics market and clinical practice by enabling fast and reliable results, and delivering superior performance to standard radiological and/or physical examination alone. CyclomicsSeq’s first application will be for head and neck cancers (HNC), where monitoring of treatment response and recurrence disease is essential for improving survival.
Need to address – Recurrent disease after initial remission is a main cause of cancer death, warranting early detection as key to improving patient outcome and quality of life. This need is particularly strong in head and neck cancer (HNC), where 150,000 new cases arise every year in the EU. Radiological imaging is the current standard in detecting HNC tumor recurrence, but suffers from low sensitivity and specificity, revealing relapsed tumor lesions only when they have progressed too far for curative treatment strategies. In addition, treatment response monitoring is key for HNC treatment, in order to adjust drug dose or change drug choice.
Solution – Cyclomics has developed a ground-breaking solution that enables reliable, fast and ultra- sensitive detection of cancer recurrence. This is achieved by detection of ctDNA, a reliable biomarker for determining presence or absence of cancer, which can be non-invasively obtained from a blood sample (liquid biopsy). Since 90% of HNC patients carry specific oncogenic DNA mutations in the gene TP53, the first application of this novel technology is focused on recurring HNC. To this end, Cyclomics is developing CyclomicsSeq TP53: an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) kit integrating an innovative sequencing methodology and state-of- the-art analysis software package. The IVD is designed to seamlessly integrate into existing clinical workflows while providing superior diagnostics for clinical decision making. In the long-term, we will expand the Cyclomics’ solution to other cancer types harboring TP53 mutations. The key advantages of Cyclomics’ solution are:
- Cutting-edge technology: it will be the first IVD available for 3rd generation sequencing platforms, which is disrupting the sequencing arena by significantly driving down sequencing costs.
- Non-invasive test: a vial of blood is all that it is needed.
- Point of care: the technology can be implemented anywhere, without the need of investing in costly infrastructure.
- Fast: results are ready in 3 days.
- Sensitive: single-molecule resolution and nearly 100% accuracy.
Cyclomics has developed CyclomicsSeq, a novel ctDNA detection assay based on the latest third-generation (i.e. Nanopore) sequencer which delivers fast, low-cost and point-of-care sequencing. In contrast to available ctDNA-based methods, CyclomicsSeq ensures that even a single ctDNA molecule present in blood can be detected and read (i.e. sequenced) at near 100% accuracy.
Cyclomics uses proprietary DNA adapters (backbones) and enzymes blends to capture ctDNA molecules and circularize them. The circular DNA is then amplified by Rolling Circle Amplification (RCA), this process generates long DNA concatemers that are sequenced using long-read sequencing technology. Finally, each sequencing-read is processed by state of the art bioinformatics and AI platform which leverages the repetitive structure of the concatemers to remove noise and errors thus delivering super-accurate results.