News Details

Life Sciences Firm Begins Breast Cancer Trial

September 28, 2009

September 24, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE and FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Matrix-Bio Inc., a life sciences company focused on developing new cancer diagnostics, has begun a clinical trial to validate a method that could detect breast cancer cells earlier and more accurately than a mammogram.
Matrix-Bio is based at the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette.

Researchers at Matrix-Bio have developed a "metabolic profiling" test to find the presence of small-molecule metabolites in patients' blood. Certain metabolites, such as glucose and cholesterol, are detectors for diabetes and heart disease, but Matrix-Bio's test measures metabolites connected to the presence of breast cancer cells.

"Our work indicates that small-molecule metabolites identify the presence of breast cancer in its earliest stages," said Dan Raftery, Matrix-Bio's founder and chief scientific officer. "Cancer cells have either higher or lower concentrations of certain metabolites than healthy cells, and the effect of these changes on the rest of the body can be detected."

The clinical trial is being conducted by two groups in Fort Wayne, Ind.: the Women's Health Advantage , led by Dr. Todd Rumsey, and the Lutheran Health Network, which will recruit patients.

"Some women in the trial will have breast cancer, and we will detect their metabolic profiles before they are treated," Raftery said. "The trial also will include healthy women and women who have benign breast disease - they had a positive mammogram result but have not developed breast cancer. The trial will confirm if our test identifies the patients who have breast cancer."

Collecting and testing samples from 300 patients will continue for about 12 months, with analysis and results expected around the end of 2010. Raftery said if the initial clinical trial results validate the test, a second clinical trial with thousands of samples from multiple sites will be organized.

"Our ultimate goal is to provide a test that would complement mammography or serve as an option for women who don't currently get annual mammograms," Raftery said.

Research and early work by Matrix-Bio has been supported by the National Institutes of Health , the Purdue Cancer Center, and the Oncological Sciences Center and Bindley Bioscience Center in Discovery Park at Purdue University.

About Matrix-Bio Inc.

Led by company founder and chief scientific officer Daniel Raftery, Matrix-Bio has developed an advanced metabolite profiling platform technology that enables simple, yet highly accurate tests for early-stage cancer diagnosis, recurrence monitoring and tracking the effects of chemotherapy while therapy is in progress.

About Purdue Research Park

The 725-acre Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The park is home to more than 160 companies. About 100 of these firms are technology-related and another 39 are incubator businesses. The park is owned and managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, a private, nonprofit foundation created to assist Purdue University in the area of economic development. In addition to the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, the foundation has established technology parks in other locations around Indiana including Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.

Source: Purdue Research Park

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