ProKyma is developing KymaSep, a bacterial and mammalian cell separation product. The instrument uses dual forces of ultrasound and magnetism to improve and automate magnetic particle handling.
The main focus is on developing a new approach for detection of cancers and monitoring of treatment. Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) are a measure of cancer metastasis and the change in numbers in the blood stream are indicative of progression of the cancer.
They are present in very low numbers, which makes them very difficult to detect. ProKyma is using a new cell capture approach to capture and purify less than 100 cells from 10 mls of whole blood. These cells will be sequenced to identify the cancer mutation specific to that patient. Thereafter routine and cost effective monitoring can quantify CTC levels. If the numbers are increasing the surgeon has an immediate awareness that the cancer is growing and can modify the therapy in real time.
This work is supported by a grant from the National Institute for Health Research under their i4i program. ProKyma is developing the application in collaboration with CellCap Technologies, the Liverpool Pancreatic Biomedical Unit and the UK Centre for Tissue Engineering at the University of Liverpool.