The diagnosis of cancer relies primarily on tissue biopsies. These biopsies identify the molecular characteristics of tumors and guide the therapeutic strategy adapted to each patient. This commonly performed procedure is invasive for the patient, can be painful and might require hospitalization. Today, there are less invasive techniques that rely on the detection of circulating tumor DNA by liquid biopsy, using a simple blood sample. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is composed of short fragments of DNA released by tumor cells into the bloodstream at the earliest stages of tumor development. This DNA reflects all the genetic and epigenetic alterations present in the tumor. Therefore, ctDNA is a biomarker of interest in the management of cancer patients. However, their low concentration in the bloodstream represents a major technical challenge for their detection.
The work of CARPEM team 1 (Dr. V. Taly and Pr. P. Laurent-Puig) has allowed the development and validation of a new innovative method for the detection of tumor biomarkers based on the characterization of specific methylation patterns of circulating tumor DNA. Accompanied by Erganeo, this work has been the subject of four patent applications, and has led to the creation of the start-up METHYS DX in 2021. A collaboration with the CNRS (ESPCI Paris – team of Dr. Y. Rondelez and Dr. G. Gines, co-founders of the start-up) has allowed to improve the detectability of the targeted biomarkers.
An exclusive license has been signed on December 7th 2022 between Erganeo and METHYS Dx for the exploitation of the patents related to the biomarkers. The objective of the start-up is to initiate very soon a first clinical trial with a marketing of kits estimated in 2026.