Xcell Biosciences, Inc.
455 Mission Bay Blvd S, Ste 145
San Francisco, CA 94158-2159
Biotech and Pharmaceutical
Cancer occurs when the genetic machinery of the cell malfunctions, often leading to uncontrolled growth and formation of new tumors. A biopsy of the tumor mass can provide insights into the type of cancer, morphologically and genetically, and thus how best to treat the disease. However, in many patients, the tumor disseminates cells into the bloodstream with travel throughout the body ‘seeding’ tumors in new locations. This process of metastasis is responsible for 90% of cancer-related deaths. Xcell Biosciences is enabling cancer research by providing products that allow researchers to access disease cells through the blood, enabling a significantly easier source of disease tissue, as well as access to study the metastasizing cancer in a way not possible until now. Xcell Biosciences has developed a proprietary substrate that captures circulating tumor cells (CTCs) without the use of antibodies or complicated workflows. This contemporary method of cultivation allows for enrichment of viable cells for biomarker development and drug-cell interaction studies. In addition to isolating viable cells, our culturing system enables tumor-initiating cells to invade and divide supplying researchers with a larger sample size. The Avatar System provides the ability to capture and expand rare circulating cells from the blood of people with advanced metastatic cancers. The approach relies on cell enrichment, the use of cell-binding substrates to enhance circulating tumor cell capture, and hypoxic culturing conditions adapted from the field of stem cell biology to maintain and propagate cells with tumor-initiating potential. The ability to capture and culture a patient’s cancer cells has broad transformative implications, providing a platform for personalized diagnostics, biomarker discovery, and targeted drug testing. The flexibility of our platform also allows for ex vivo drug characterization under more physiologically relevant conditions (emphasis on IO drugs and in particular, cell based therapies).