- EKF Diagnostics Holdings has announced the result of a collaboration which is a major step towards the goal of routine and reliable detection of cancer cells in blood samples. EKF Molecular Diagnostics has been working with GILUPI, an innovator in medical devices for in vivo isolation of rare cells directly from a patients' blood stream, using GILUPI CellCollector with EKF's PointManTM DNA Enrichment technology.

The first results of a collaboration between EKF Molecular Diagnostics and GILUPI has successfully demonstrated the detection of gene mutations from as few as three or less cells isolated in a model in vitro system and from the blood of lung cancer patients. PointMan DNA Enrichment was used to detect and analyse cells with known mutation status that had been collected on GILUPI CellCollectors under laboratory conditions.

The known mutations were those typically seen in lung (EGFR) and colorectal (KRAS) cancer. Positive results using PointMan assays for KRAS (codon 12/13) and EGFR (T790M and L858R) from cell lines with known mutations and patients were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and showed conformance with known mutation status. EKF Molecular Diagnostics chief executive Andrew Webb said: "These results are a clear indication of the utility of PointMan DNA enrichment on low cell numbers, in this case those isolated using the GILUPI CellCollector both in vitro and in vivo. We look forward to continuing this important work with GILUPI to validate our findings.

"This achievement is in line with the Company's vision to change current DNA extraction and detection practices and address the fast growing companion diagnostics market. Current collaborations focus on the unmet requirements for patient monitoring from peripheral samples negating the requirement for a surgical procedure to obtain a tissue biopsy and screening for early cancer diagnosis."

At 8:00am: [LON:EKF] EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC share price was +1.38p at 26.25p

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