Its Parsortix system is used to harvest circulating tumour cells. Now ANGLE’s scientists are using what’s called an immunofluorescence imaging assay to check for programmed death-ligand 1 expression. Known as PDL1, this particular protein helps keep immune cells from attacking non-harmful cells in the body.
However, it also allows the cancer cells to trick the immune system and avoid being attacked as foreign. If a PDL1 expression from a patient’s cancer cells is high, she or he will likely benefit from immunotherapy.
Industry estimates suggest there are around half a million cancer sufferers worldwide ready to embark on clinical trials of follow-on drugs to Keytruda, Opdivo, and Imfinzi.
These studies would benefit immensely from some sort of biomarker technology to assess just which patient is likely to respond to the drug candidate and which is not.
“ANGLE has established a proactive business development process, taking advantage of the increased accessibility of key executives during lockdown, to establish a dialogue with prospective customers and collaborators for the deployment of PDL1 analysis capabilities in pharma services cancer drug trials,” the company said.
The business development opportunity was flagged up in a wide-ranging update on the company’s progress.
ANGLE confirmed it has a cash runway that takes it out to mid-2021 and that it has received a £1.9mln R&D tax credit. It said it is managing its resources and has furloughed staff.
As announced less than a month ago, progress has been impeded by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
So, a key focus during lockdown has been on finalising the significant amount of written documentation and analysis for the firm’s imminent submission to the US Food & Drug Administration.
It is working with a research and development skeleton crew in Guildford, while at its Toronto labs, HyCEAD Ziplex analytical and assay verification work for ANGLE’s ovarian cancer test is “progressing”.
And finally, while the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York has temporarily ceased patient enrolment, researchers are analysing the second retained samples from the previous ovarian cancer clinical study.