Liver Cancer Screening Assay
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world, with approximately 600,000 new cases every year. It is the third most common cause of cancer-related death. The incidence in North America has doubled in the last 15 years and is increasing. Approximately $1 billion is currently being spent annually worldwide to screen the disease using surrogate serological markers and imaging such as ultrasound.
Since there are no symptoms to indicate the presence of a tumour, diagnosing HCC is difficult. Early detection through routine testing, especially in individuals with a high-risk for developing HCC, could significantly improve treatment outcomes.
Amorfix collaborated with BioMosaics Inc to develop a blood-based assay for the early detection of HCC in high-risk groups such as people with chronic hepatitis. Amorfix developed a new assay incorporating the existing Biomosaics test, plus new material from the Sunnybrook Research Institute. The test is based on antibodies to the biomarker Glypican-3 (GPC3), which is widely accepted as an immunohistochemical biomarker of early HCC. Amorfix completed the technology transfer of the prototype assay it developed to BioMosaics.