Cincinnati, OH – Siloam Biosciences, Inc., a privately held firm with a dramatically improved diagnostic platform using its advanced microfluidic Optimiser™ technology, entered into a two-year, $1 million contract with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a desktop instrument to test multiple cancer biomarkers using a fraction of a drop of blood, and 5 to 20 times less volume of reagents than current systems. It will have the additional ability to measure extremely low concentrations of the biomarkers on demand.
“This NCI contract illustrates the significant value to cancer research of Siloam’s Optimiser™ platform,” said Winton Gibbons, president and CEO for Siloam. “In addition to oncology, Siloam’s cost-effective, commercial and commercial-ready technology can be levered in other medical fields, such as cardiology, allergy, and infectious diseases. It is currently available for high-throughput, automated clinical and research laboratories, and manual research. Additionally, point-of-care and desktop systems are in development.”
Tests using multiple cancer biomarkers are widely used for cancer research. However, current detection platforms offer limited options. There are instruments that are fast and can work with low sample volumes, but are typically expensive and have limited sensitivity. Ultra-sensitive platforms are also expensive and may additionally require complex sample preparation steps and large sample volumes. Siloam’s Optimiser™ microfluidic technology solves these problems. It can cost-effectively and quickly measure multiple biomarkers using low sample volumes. When needed, the Optimiser™ platform can perform ultrasensitive tests using the same disposables and instruments.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The NCI estimates that in the United States there will be almost 1.7 millions new cases of cancer this year, with almost 600 thousand deaths. More than 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetimes, with an overall survival for 5 years of 66%. There are almost 14 million people living in the United States with cancer today.
Optimiser™ microfluidic technology
At the heart of the Optimiser™ technology is the elegant microfluidic reaction cell. Flow within the microfluidic cell is regulated entirely by smart, capillary-driven microfluidic design. This eliminates the need for the specialized microfluidic pumps and valves that are part of other microfluidic technologies. As a result, products based on Optimiser™ technology are more easily and reproducibly manufactured, and achieve tighter assay precision than would otherwise be possible for typical microfluidic systems. All fluid handling steps involve an addition of only 2-5 microliters of liquid (about 10% to 33% the size of a drop of blood). The surface-area-to-volume ratio is 50 times greater in an Optimiser™ cell compared to routine reaction wells. Consequently, reactions occur quite quickly, reaching 60% binding in 10 seconds, compared to 60% binding in 1 hour for standard technologies.
Products based on Optimiser™ technology can be enhanced among a number of dimensions and for a variety of sites. The technology provides test results comparable to a reference laboratory, while typically using only 5% of the sample and reagent volumes, and leading to 60% or more cost savings. It is easy to automate and implement, and can use off-the-shelf robotics and reagents. The sensitivity of tests can be tuned on-demand to make tests 10 to 100 times more sensitive. The company makes both OptiMax® microplates for automated use, and Optimiser™ kits for manual use. OptiMax® microplates are intended for reference labs, research, and CLIA labs, and can be used in these sites for lab-derived tests, research assays, or FDA cleared products.
About Siloam Biosciences
Siloam focuses on developing next generation of in-vitro diagnostic systems for immunoassay tests using its cost-effective and easy-to-use Optimiser™ microfluidics technology. Over 70 assays have been developed on the Optimiser™ platform, proving its robustness and universal nature. The Optimiser™ platform is commercially offered as OptiMax® microplates for existing standard robotic automation, and as manual Optimiser™ plates. The company also has developed TROVA®, a desktop system for use at point of care. Currently, the company is investigating strategic alternatives for its businesses.
President and CEO
Reference: SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: All Cancer Sites. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/all.html