Technical optimisation

The rVAR2 protein’s capacity to specifically bind oncofetal CSA on circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and other cancer cells can be used for diagnostic, prognostic and treatment monitoring purposes in many ways.

VarCT Diagnostics’ initial development activities focused on developing and demonstrating utilizations of rVAR2 for capturing and down-stream analysis of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), including small CTCs and Circulating Cancer Stem Cells. The current protocol for capturing of CTCs is based on conjugation of the rVAR2 protein to magnetic beads. After the rVAR2-decorated beads have bound to the CTCs in a blood sample, the CTCs can be isolated using a magnet. Following isolation, the CTCs can be counted or processed in other ways.

The second application in development is the use of the rVAR2 protein for staining of CTCs captured by other methods. The aim of this concept is to make the protocol as simple as possible so that it can be used with standard equipment in any laboratory.

Clinical feasibility programs

VarCT Diagnostics have multiple clinical feasibility studies on-going or in the planning phase. All of these aim at demonstrating evidence for rVAR2-based protocols to identify CTCs early in the disease progression. These studies include colorectal cancer, melanoma (treatment monitoring), glioblastoma, non-specified cancer in people with unspecified symptoms, stratification of HER2 positive breast cancer, bladder cancer and pancreatic cancer.

Clinical validation

The final validation of a diagnostic method encompassing rVAR2 protein will be conducted together with partners.