mRNA-based liquid biopsies as a platform for precision diagnostics will be the subject of his January 24th talk

Dr. Mark Kidd, Wren’s Laboratory and Scientific Director, will be speaking about liquid biopsies and the company’s mRNA-based diagnostic platform on January 24th at the Precision Medicine World Conference in Santa Clara, California. 

Dr. Kidd’s presentation will focus on the gene expression signatures that Wren has developed for a variety of hematological and solid tumors, the machine learning and multianalyte algorithms used to evaluate the molecular information found in venous blood and how this can provide precise and personalized information about a patient’s cancer. 

Benefits of the NETest Slide

Click to expand

The assays Wren has developed and validated for neuroendocrine cancer mRNA signatures in their NETest,® for example, have demonstrated unprecedented levels of accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity, providing clinical utility as they can immediately confirm the presence of neuroendocrine cancer, as well as provide information to help recommend treatment and then monitor disease progression. 

“Our mRNA-based liquid biopsies, such as the NETest for neuroendocrine cancer, provide an immediate and real-time picture of a patient’s NET disease state. This is because there is a significant correlation between (mRNA) expression in the blood and disease activity. It’s observable (in blood) well before it would be picked up in imaging, for example,” explained Dr. Kidd. 

For this reason, the NETest and other diagnostics in Wren’s pipeline can provide clinical utility for oncologists concerned with residual disease remaining after resection. Highly relevant to personalized and precision medicine, diagnostics utilizing Wren’s molecular platform also provide utility for monitoring patients undergoing treatment or who have been designated as free from disease. 

In addition to the immediate and real-time indication benefits of a molecular biopsy, there are other important points of difference relative to tissue-based assays or imaging.

First is the non-invasive nature of a blood sample. It is far less invasive, by definition than a tissue biopsy. For many patients, a blood biopsy is an easier, more convenient, and less anxiety-ridden option than having to arrange and then undergo an MRI or a CT scan. Many people have strong negative reactions to scans, as evidenced by the notion of scanxiety.

A molecular diagnostic can also provide a more comprehensive view of a tumor and its related activity. A scan will show that a tumor exists, whereas an mRNA-based liquid biopsy will provide clarity around many other factors that may be occurring within the tumor, such as activities to avoid immune destruction or to build new vasculature.

“Scans or MRIs provide us with a two-dimensional depiction of a moment in time. Understanding gene expression from the tumor gives a fuller and far greater understanding of tumor velocity; we’re able to tell what is going on with one’s cancer and help provide information to clinicians about how to treat the disease best,” added Dr. Kidd.

Beyond neuroendocrine cancer, Dr. Kidd’s presentation, which will be on Wednesday, January 24th at 1 pm (PST) will demonstrate the applicability of Wren’s molecular platform for other cancer diagnostics in Wren’s pipeline, such as prostate cancer and multiple myeloma.  A video of the presentation and a copy of the slide set will be available on the Wren Laboratories website after the presentation.

PMWC, the “Precision Medicine World Conference” is the largest & original annual conference dedicated to precision medicine. PMWC’s mission is to bring together recognized leaders, top global researchers and medical professionals, and innovators across healthcare and biotechnology sectors to showcase practical content that helps close the knowledge gap between different sectors, thereby catalyzing cross-functional fertilization & collaboration in an effort to accelerate the development and spread of precision medicine.