Sanford scientist’s cancer blood test licensed to medical tech company

June 28, 2018

A blood test developed by a Sanford Research scientist that uses a patient’s own immune system to help detect breast cancer has been licensed to Inanovate, a medical technology company specializing in screening and analysis of proteins.

Kristi Egland envisioned the test while she was being treated for breast cancer.

Egland identified antibodies in breast cancer patients’ blood that recognize proteins associated with the tumor. Her team of researchers makes the proteins in the lab and then uses them to test for the antibodies in patients’ blood. A simple blood draw is potentially enough to discover if the disease is present.

“I was frustrated and thought, ‘We need to do better,’ ” she said.

Her test aims to do that. Blood antibody levels in breast cancer patients decrease during treatment, and the hope is, if they rise again, the blood test will pick that up and be a red flag for a physician to more closely monitor the patient.

Inanovate relocated to Sioux Falls from Boston in 2017 to better collaborate with Sanford and was awarded a $2.3 million Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health last year.

Inanovate and Sanford will start a clinical trial next month, collect and store blood samples from consenting Sanford Health patients in the Sanford Biobank and seek to validate the accuracy of the test.

Inanovate will use its patented biomarker analysis platform, BioID-800, to analyze the blood draw. The instrument recognizes different biomarkers in small samples of blood. The biomarkers Egland has linked with breast cancer were licensed to Inanovate and combined with Bio-ID.

“The integration of Sanford’s breast cancer biomarkers with our Bio-ID biomarker analysis platform provides a unique solution to breast cancer detection and monitoring,” said David Ure, CEO of Inanovate. “This technology could enable the detection of recurrent breast cancer at a stage when it may be more effectively treated and cured.”

Sanford is an investor in and part owner of Inanovate. The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation supported the project through funds dedicated to breast cancer research.

“The Sanford Health BioBank is an invaluable resource for translating scientific discoveries into routine health care,” said David Pearce, executive vice president of innovation and research for Sanford Health.

Egland agreed.

“All of the pieces of the puzzle have fit together perfectly,” Egland said.

 

Sanford scientist’s cancer blood test licensed to medical tech company

A blood test developed by a Sanford Research scientist that uses a patient’s own immune system to help detect breast cancer has been licensed to Inanovate, a medical technology company specializing in screening and analysis of proteins.

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