High interest in Oxford BioDynamics’ blood test for cancers at USA medical conference

Oxford Biodynamics

Interest in a simple blood test developed by Oxford BioDynamics, which could help cancer doctors better advise patients on treatment options, was high at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference held in Chicago earlier this month.

Oxford BioDynamics Plc , a biotech developing precision medicine tests for immune health based on the EpiSwitch 3D genomics platform, presented additional data at the conference  on its flagship CiRT clinical assay to predict patient response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors (ICI) therapies (ICIs are a type of immunotherapy that block immune checkpoint proteins from binding with partner proteins).

The EpiSwitch® Checkpoint inhibitor Response Test (CiRT) is a simple blood test available to US-based clinicians, enabling them to advise the millions of cancer patients facing the complex choice between powerful immunotherapy treatments, which might have low response rates and immune-related adverse events, and alternative treatment options.

Launched in February 2022 as a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT), EpiSwitch CiRT is available for immediate clinical utilization in the US via the website: myCiRT.com.

Interest in CiRT at ASCO was significant; OBD representatives held positive meetings with 11 pharma teams, two major US hospital networksNational Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, as well as with clinicians and healthcare investors.

Dr Jon Burrows, OBD’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “ASCO was a brilliant opportunity to get the attention of oncologists and the oncology community from around the world.”

“As a small British biotech building our commercial profile, we were overwhelmed by the interest in the company and EpiSwitch CiRT. We had significantly more meetings than anticipated with practicing oncologists, pharma clinical development teams, hospital administrators and healthcare investors, who welcomed information on the potential use and utility of CiRT. It is highly encouraging that we continue to receive enquiries post-ASCO.”

ICIs have been approved as first-line or second-line treatment for 15 different cancer indications. They show remarkable efficacy in treating cancer, and oncologists have actively adopted the use of these therapies. Across the approved indications, approximately 40% of all patients are eligible for ICI therapy [1], and within the class of ICIs, anti-PD-1/PDL-1 antibodies have become some of the most widely prescribed and tested anticancer therapies [2].

Despite their potential efficacy, it has been estimated that ICIs are ineffective for up to 70 per cent of patients treated, and these ineffective therapies in the US alone could add over 42 per cent to annual spend. Currently, there are no predictive tools that accurately report the expected efficacy in individual patients.

This results in substantial unnecessary costs in both time and money to healthcare systems.

OBD’s EpiSwitch CiRT blood test has demonstrated best-in-class performance in the prediction of cancer patient response to ICIs.

Dr Steve Mamus, an oncologist serving as Medical Director of Oncology/Hematology and founder of the Cancer Center of Sarasota (FL, USA), said: “EpiSwitch CiRT has demonstrated that it can stratify patients in either a high or low response likelihood category with high accuracy. This promises to add real value – both supporting our decision on whether ICI therapy is appropriate for a patient and giving us a rational approach to stop and/or restart therapy at the right time. We need tools such as EpiSwitch CiRT to provide evidence on whether persevering after an irAE (adverse events related to toxicities) is the right call for an individual patient.”