Puncher voor Cellijn Ontwikkeling

In dit project zal een Puncher platform demonstrator worden gerealiseerd en gevalideerd om hiermee antilichaam producerende monoclonale cellijnen sneller en kosten effectiever te ontwikkelen. Antilichamen worden gebruikt bij de behandeling van kanker, reuma, psoriasis en tal van andere immuun deficiënte ziekten. Een antilichaam hecht alleen aan kwaadaardige cellen of virussen met een specifiek antigen waarna deze worden herkend door het eigen immuun systeem en worden gedood.

Antilichamen worden geproduceerd door productie cellijnen. Het Puncher platform kan een rol spelen bij het maken en selecteren van de beste moeder cel die het juiste antilichaam in grote hoeveelheden produceert.

Project partners: Universiteit Twente, JB Ventures, VYCAP, Stevens Idé Partners, Kane Tronics.

Leadpartner is VYCAP

Tumor cell detection in Lymph Nodes

As part of the project Tumor Cell Detection in Lymph Nodes (Interreg project# 122280), a better method for detecting lymph node metastases will be developed and validated to allow better staging of the patient. The current TRL level of this subproject is at TRL level 4, and will increased to TRL-7 in parallel with the Cell Puncher Pro project.

The current TRL6 level of the puncher system, the pump-unit system and the disposable items ready for counting tumor cells from the lymph node on a chip and to isolate them for genetic analysis.

The new project is sustainable and will ensure regional employment in the five Dutch and German SMEs, who jointly develop and later produce parts of the Cell Puncher Pro product platform. This side project is actually a second demonstrator for the developed products.

Lymph node metastases are among the major prognostic factors in various types of cancer (including head and neck cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer). With the current diagnostics, individual tumor cells and (micro-) metastases in a lymph node are overlooked and the patient can be mistakenly classified as lymph node negative (pN0). If this classification is wrong, the patient will receive a less effective treatment with worse outcomes.

Cell Puncher Pro

In this project (Interreg project# 102183) the Cell Puncher Pro demonstrator will be developed and validated to enable analysis of all individual Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) to guide cancer therapy. Personalized cancer treatment based on the tumor composition (proteins, DNA and RNA) will become the standard in the next ten years. This requires solutions to determine the tumor composition at multiple time points during the course of therapy. The most cost effective and patient friendly method to obtain the tumor composition is to draw a tube of blood (7.5ml) from a patient and analyze its CTC. In contrast to a tumor biopsy, which can often only be taken once or not at all, a liquid tumor biopsy can be taken at several moments during the treatment and guide a therapy. VyCAP B.V has developed a solution, which is compatible with commercial CTC enrichment instruments to analyze single cells. The CTC enriched sample is processed by the Cell Puncher Pro
platform to select, isolate and analyze all CTC to guide the therapy.

The Puncher is currently at TRL 4 and will be further developed by the consortium to TRL 7 which should be ready by mid-2020. After a successful validation at the Heinrich Heine University Hospital in Düsseldorf, it will be introduced to other clinics. The Hospital in Dusseldorf is the expert in the analysis of CTC. The validation in the clinic will be performed using blood samples of end stage small cell lung and prostate cancer patients, to ensure sufficient amount of CTC (5-100/7.5ml).

Within the INTERREG program, the consortium will:
• Develop and design the Cell Puncher Pro demonstrator towards TRL-7
• Transfer the manufacturing of the cell isolation chip towards Micronit’s Foundry in Dortmund, Germany
• Improve the plastic disposables at JB Ventures, Nijverdal, the Netherlands
• Validate the Cell Puncher Pro using blood samples of patients with extensive cancer disease that are treated at the UMCG Groningen (NL), UK Munster and Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

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