Noble Life Sciences (Gaithersburg, MD) announced today that the company has been awarded a Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF) grant of $100,000 from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). The grant will be used to develop assays to determine the effect of cancer treatments on metastatic cells derived directly from patients. Metastasis-initiating tumor cells isolated from the blood of cancer patients will be used to assay the activity of drugs both in culture and in novel metastatic mouse models developed using these invasive circulating tumor cells (CTCs).
Dr. Stephen Horrigan, Chief Scientific Officer of Noble Life Sciences, noted, “In over 90% of cancer deaths, metastasis, not the primary tumor, is responsible. Yet virtually all cancer drug development testing is based on activity in primary tumors. The development of these metastasis-associated assays will enable us to offer highly innovative services to clients who are developing novel therapeutic drugs, in particular those that target metastatic cancers and cancer stem cells. One goal of our development effort will be to demonstrate the ability to test ex vivo the sensitivity and resistance of metastasis-initiating invasive CTCs to candidate drugs. A second goal will be to create patient-derived metastasis mouse (PDM mouse) models thereby establishing mouse avatars for preclinical testing of human metastatic tumors.”