Session Abstract – PMWC 2020 Silicon Valley


The PMWC 2020 Liquid Biopsy Showcase will provide a 15-minute time slot for selected liquid biopsy companies to present their latest technologies to an audience of leading investors, potential clients, and partners. We will hear from companies that advance the development of screening tests for oncology, immunotherapy, and other areas, based on detection and identification of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), circulating tumor cells (CTCs), circulating RNA, circulating microRNAs, or extracellular vesicle (exosomes).


Confirmed Presenting Companies:

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Founder, Captis Diagnostics Inc.

Biography
Dr. Zheng’s main research theme is to develop micro/nano technologies for precision healthcare, at the interface of material, device and biomedicine. His recent work includes developing liquid biopsy technologies for non-invasive cancer diagnosis using nanomaterials and microdevices, innovative nanomaterials and biomaterials for cancer therapeutics, nanomaterial-integrated microdevices for virus discovery and diagnosis. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed journal papers and holds 15 patents and patent applications. Among other honors, he is the recipient of the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and the American Cancer Society’s Research Scholar Award. Dr. Zheng is currently an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S. in Biological Science and Biotechnology at Tsinghua University, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from California Institute of technology.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Captis Diagnostics

Captis Diagnostics develops and commercializes breakthrough liquid biopsy solutions for cancer management through the emerging extracellular vesicle-based technology.

Extracellular Vesicle-Based Technology In Cancer Management
Delivering clinical actionable report to oncologist is critical for cancer management. Extracellular vesicles are emerging as appealing type of cancer biomarker for non-invasive cancer management. This talk will focus on the development and clinical applications of extracellular vesicle-based liquid biopsy.

 Speaker Profile

M.D., Ph.D., CEO, Twinstrand Biosciences

Biography
Dr. Jesse Salk is a medical oncologist and a Founder of TwinStrand Biosciences. His research interests lie in studying somatic evolution and the genomic processes that occur on the continuum between “normal”, preneoplastic and cancer, and applying this to knowledge to clinical medicine. He developed the ultra-high accuracy Duplex Sequencing technology with colleagues at the University of Washington, where he completed his medical and graduate degrees as well as clinical training. Since 2017, Dr. Salk has led TwinStrand, applying Duplex Sequencing to new areas of high sensitivity early and residual cancer detection, evolution of drug resistance and genetic toxicology, among other fields. He holds a clinical faculty appointment at the University of Washington and continues to care for cancer patients part time at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Twinstrand Biosciences

TwinStrand develops ultrasensitive Duplex Sequencing-based assays for early detection of cancer, residual disease monitoring and genetic toxicology.

Ultrasensitive Minimal Residual Disease Detection By Duplex Sequencing
Duplex Sequencing enables an unprecedented level of NGS accuracy, with error rates below one-in-ten-million. The technology is ideally suited to detection of residual cancer (MRD), where lingering tumor cells are vastly outnumbered by normal cells. Here we present Duplex Sequencing-based MRD data from three clinical studies in acute myeloid leukemia.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., CEO, Crystal Genetics, Inc.

Biography
Dr. Bahram G. Kermani is an expert in the fields of genomics, computational biology, signal processing, and machine learning. Prior to starting Crystal Genetics, he held various executive and technical positions at Guardant Health, Complete Genomics, Illumina, and Bell Labs (Lucent). Dr. Kermani completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in electrical engineering, and minoring in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University; and received his B.S. in electronics engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. Dr. Kermani has several publications in the areas of genomics, biomedical engineering, and electrical engineering, and holds in excess of 47 issued patents in the United States, European Union, and Japan.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Crystal Genetics, Inc.

Crystal Genetics is a genetic testing company, with a primary focus on early detection of cancer using liquid biopsy. Leveraging the powers of single-cell analysis, whole genome sequencing and AI, we target population-level cancer screening applications --all of which demand ultra-high specificity.

Screening Applications For Early Detection Of Cancer
Early detection of cancer using liquid biopsy has recently been en vogue, due to its potential to drastically improve the survival rate of cancer patients, while being minimally invasive. We present a high-specificity detection framework as mandated by screening applications.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Delfi Diagnostics

Biography
Nic recently joined the oncology diagnostics industry after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry leading oncology translational research teams at BMS and Janssen. In this role, he is working with colleagues at Delfi Diagnostics to develop novel assays for the early detection of cancer. This approach utilizes low coverage sequencing of plasma DNA to identify differences in nucleosomal packaging of DNA in cancer and normal cells. Nic obtained his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of London, and completed post-doctoral fellowships at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Subsequently, he served as an Assistant Director at the Whitehead/MIT Genome Center, and as a Section Chief at the National Center for Human Genome Research before moving to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Nic has authored >80 scientific publications, and has extensive experience in the fields of genomics, molecular biology and cancer research.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Delfi Diagnostics

Delfi Diagnostics is a new venture funded company developing novel mutation-independent tests for the early detection of cancer.

Mutation-Independent Tests For Early Cancer Detection
We describe a new test for early stage cancer that does not require detection of rare somatic mutations, but looks for common secondary effects of these mutations by examining altered plasma DNA fragmentation.

 Speaker Profile

Chairman and CEO, ImpactNRS and Chairman, CEO, miR Scientific

Biography
Sam co-founded miR Scientific in 2014. Sam is a serial entrepreneur and a renowned executive who throughout his career held senior executive and board level positions developing game-changing technologies and companies across industries, including Biotech (president – Errant Gene Therapeutics), Art Authentication (CEO – Provenire Authentication), Aquaculture (Chairman – Greenfins Global) and Financial Services (Mission Markets Inc., a pioneering financial services firm focused on impact and sustainability markets.). Sam attended the American University of Paris in France and Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and Board of Selectors of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase Showcase:

miR Scientific (www.mirscientific.com) is a precision bioscience company that has developed proprietary, non-invasive liquid biopsy urine tests that definitively detect, accurately score and continuously monitor prostate and bladder cancers.

miR Scientific Sentinel™️ PCa and CS Tests, Revolutionizing the Standard of Care Supporting Urologic Oncology
In the face of debilitating global prevalence and disease burden of urological cancer, miR has developed a urological oncology disease management platform that is centered around it’s proprietary non-invasive liquid biopsy urine tests. Based on profiling sncRNA isolated from Urinary Exosomes, the tests detect, score and continuously monitor prostate and bladder cancers with industry-leading accuracy. The presentation will show how the validated platform will comprehensively transform patient health outcomes and optimize the cost and availability of health service utilization.

 Speaker Profile

M.D., President and CSO, OncoTracker, Inc

Biography
Dr. James R Berenson, MD is the Founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of OncoTracker, Inc., an immuno-oncology company focused on both diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer patients with a particular focus on Solubilized (serum) B-Cell Maturation Antigen (sBCMA). Dr. Berenson has his clinical practice in West Hollywood, California, where he specializes in the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma, MGUS, amyloidosis, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and metastatic bone disease. Additionally, Dr. Berenson is the founder of the Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research and has specialized in research related to myeloma and metastatic bone disease both in the basic and clinical areas for more than 20 years. He has been involved in multiple major clinical and scientific breakthroughs that have brought new treatments for patients with these diseases resulting in improved outcomes. He serves as a member of the National Institutes of Health – Center for Scientific Review, Clinical Oncology Study Section. He is a member of the Scientific Boards of the MMRF, IMF, LLS and other groups involved in my multiple myeloma and bone metastases.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
OncoTracker, Inc.

Private, revenue-generating, immuno-oncology company focused on both diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer patients.

Novel Biomarker sBCMA Development / Utility In Cancer
Review the discovery, ongoing development and potential utility of the novel biomarker Serum B-cell Maturation Antigen (sBCMA) in multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other cancer and conditions.

 Speaker Profile

Chief Business Officer, Lexent Bio

Biography
As CBO at Lexent Bio, Ted is leveraging his hybrid experience in oncotherapeutics and molecular diagnostics to launch the Confera™ DX system for therapy response monitoring. He has deep experience in both sectors, having built and led the original commercial team at Genomic Health that created and launched the Oncotype® DX product line in 2004. Before that, he led oncology marketing teams at Amgen and ALZA. He later built the commercial team at Crescendo Bioscience, now part of Myriad Genetics, where he launched the Vectra® DA system for disease management in rheumatology. Returning to therapeutics, he was Oncology/Hematology Business Unit Head at Jazz Pharma. He then served as CBO at Counsyl, an innovative NGS lab in reproductive genetics. More recently he was CCO at Guardant Health. Ted is in a very small group that has successfully commercialized separate RNA, DNA & Proteomic tools for specialty medicine, unlocking widespread clinical adoption.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Lexent Bio

Lexent Bio is building and commercializing novel liquid biopsy applications to change the way we manage cancer, with an initial focus on accelerating the feedback for assessing the effectiveness of therapy.

Better, Faster Molecular Response Assessment for Oncology
The Confera™ DX system will allow clinicians to know how patients are responding to treatment, faster and more accurately than currently possible. Launching as an LDT and transitioning to IVD, Confera DX will enable performance-based pricing for expensive cancer therapies.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., CEO, Apostle

Biography
Dr. Ge’s work at Apostle Inc is focused on innovations to efficiently enrich and isolate circulating free DNA (cfDNA), a key element of liquid biopsy. In 2018, Apostle Inc was named by BioSpace as “Top 20 Life Science Startups to Watch” and was selected into the Stanford University StartX program. Prior to co-founding Apostle, he was President of BioSciKin Co., Ltd., focusing on biomedical incubation and investment. Between 2011 and 2016, he was Director of Bioinformatics at Gilead Sciences where he was named by the U.K. Phacilitate as "Top 50 Most Influential People in Big Data" in 2015. Between 2008 and 2011, he was an Assistant Professor at Duke University School of Medicine, where he was also a member of U.S. NIH NHGRI Special Emphasis Panel. He and colleagues discovered the IL28B genetic variants associated with clinical response to interferon treatment, published in Nature in 2009. He completed his postdoctoral training at Duke University in 2008 and received his Ph.D. in Biostatistics and Genetic Epidemiology from Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 2004.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Apostle

Apostle invents best-in-class cfDNA enrichment and isolation technologies, used in a liquid biopsy. We partner with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences to offer our innovative technologies, automated or manual, featured in Science, 2019;364(6441):696, New Products.

A New cfDNA Enrichment And Isolation Technology
cfDNA is useful in a liquid biopsy but is present in very small amounts in the blood plasma. Apostle develops a novel technique, Apostle MiniMax, to efficiently capture this cfDNA from a standard blood draw. We aim to improve the efficiency and accuracy of liquid biopsy.

 Speaker Profile

Sr. Key Account and Business Development Manager, BD

Biography
Tom is responsible for national key account PAXgene opportunities as well as leading sales and logistics activities between BD and Qiagen. In addition Tom is a member of the BD Cell and Biomarker Team as an Associate Sales Manager. In this role, Tom is accountable for driving growth across the CBP Portfolio of Products as well as creating solutions for his customers across the Life Science Research Market.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
BD

PreAnalytiX, a joint venture between BD and QIAGEN, and sells systems for sample collection, stabilization and purification of high-quality nucleic acids from human specimens. The Company serves healthcare institutions, academic researchers, clinical laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry.

Integrated Collection, Stabilization, And Purification Of Circulating Cell-free DNA
Apoptosis and lysis of white blood cells in unstabilized whole blood releases intracellular DNA into plasma, which dilutes naturally occurring ccfDNA. PAXgene Blood ccfDNA Tubes contain an additive that anticoagulates blood and stabilizes blood cells via a non-crosslinking stabilization solution. This helps prevent the release of intracellular DNA and maintains constant ccfDNA levels during sample transport and storage prior to processing. When used with PAXgene Blood ccfDNA Tubes, the proven magnetic particle technology of the QIAsymphony PAXgene Blood ccfDNA Kit provides a rapid, automated procedure to isolate ccfDNA of high quality and purity.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Director, R&D, Integrated Oncology, LabCorp

Biography
After studying in the field of cancer epigenetics, Dr. Jensen joined Sequenom in 2009 and was part of the team that developed and launched the first commercially available noninvasive prenatal test based on circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the U.S. Subsequently, Dr. Jensen has been involved in numerous assay development efforts focused on the identification and detection of genetic and epigenetic changes in cfDNA for use in prenatal and cancer diagnostics. Since the acquisition of Sequenom by LabCorp in 2016, his work has been primarily focused on the development of novel technologies and assays, primarily using cfDNA, with the overarching goal of utilizing these technologies to improve human health.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
LabCorp

Integrated Oncology is the segment of LabCorp that is committed to serving cancer patients through an array of pathology and oncology testing services.

Genome-Wide cfDNA Sequencing In Cancer Patients
An assay using low-coverage, genome-wide sequencing of cell-free DNA was developed and utilized to monitor therapeutic response in cancer patients. In this presentation, we will present data further describing the utility of the assay and potential improvements thereof.

 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Principle Scientist, Bluestar Genomics

Biography
Dr. Anna Bergamaschi has extensive background in cancer biology and cancer genomic methods for the development of molecular diagnostic tests. At Genomic Health, Dr. Bergamaschi has been involved in numerous assay development efforts and led the technical development of a mutation based liquid biopsy test, aimed to identify actional mutations in late stage cancers. Since joining Bluestar Genomics in 2018, she has been leading the product development of the company’s first screening test.


Liquid Biopsy Showcase:
Bluestar Genomics

Founded out of the Stanford laboratory of Dr. Stephen Quake, Bluestar Genomics develops next-generation epigenomic approaches to non-invasive molecular testing to provide novel insight and quantification of human health and disease to improve healthcare outcomes.

Non-Invasive Epigenomic Methods For Detecting Multiple Cancers
Bluestar Genomics is developing a non-invasive assay using next-generation epigenomic technologies. From a simple blood test our technology, coupled with machine learning, enables the classification of multiple cancer types. Hear about our latest results from large cancer cohorts.

 Speaker Profile

Executive Director, BloodPAC

Biography
At BloodPAC Lauren is focused on creating an open database for liquid biopsies to accelerate the development of safe and effective blood profiling diagnostic technologies for patient benefit. Prior, she was the Senior Director of External Partnerships at White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force during the Obama Administration. Previously, Lauren was a Senior Advisor for the Melanoma Research Alliance and Director of Philanthropy at Elysium Management LLC in New York City. From 2008-2010, Lauren worked for the Millennium Promise Alliance, where she led the major gifts fundraising effort and spent significant time in sub-Saharan Africa. Lauren was also the head of marketing and investor relations at Steel Partners, LP, an activist hedge fund investing globally. Lauren received her undergraduate degree in communications from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School. She also holds an MBA in international business from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from NYU.


BloodPAC: Establishing Liquid Biopsy Standards & Best Practices
BloodPAC , a public-private consortium develops standards and best practices organizes and coordinates research studies through its members, and operates a data commons to support the liquid biopsy research community. Data is aggregated and contributed to the BloodPAC Data Commons (BPDC) to establish an open, publicly accessible data commons.