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October 13, 2022

Unique Partnership Seeks to Advance Precision Medicine Options for Deadly GBM Brain Tumors

The ability to optimize precision medicine therapies for patients fighting aggressive and deadly brain cancers like Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) starts with quality tissue specimens with molecular integrity intact. Improvements in tissue quality can then fuel improved outcomes through patient-specific predictive response to therapies.

Neurosurgical medical device innovator NICO Corporation and Kiyatec, a leader in functional precision oncology, announced a partnership today in glioma patient care to address the well-published unmet clinical need of obtaining better tissue to achieve greater accuracy in predicting tumor response to cancer targeted agents and chemotherapies.

NICO’s automated, non-ablative and non-thermal Myriad tissue resection device and Automated Preservation System (APS) collects and biologically preserves tissue while in the operating suite. This helps maintain the tumor microenvironment, which aids in the preservation of biological information needed for researchers and clinicians.

“Our goal is to lead the way in modernizing tissue biobanking for the new molecular era by starting the process in the operating room,” said Jim Pearson, president and CEO of NICO.

In this partnership, Kiyatec’s CLIA-certified laboratory will receive tissue from NICO’s APS and use its 3D Predict™ Glioma assay, a 7-day drug-on-tumor process, to accurately predict a tumor-specific therapeutic response before treatment begins. This will help neuro-oncologists make more informed treatment decisions for their GBM patients.

Kiyatec CEO Matthew Gevaert, PhD, said, “This initiative with NICO spotlights the importance of tissue quality as we implement new and better ways to improve outcomes for high grade glioma patients. Testing tissues with increased long-term cell viability, a benefit of tissue from NICO’s APS, enhances our mission to disrupt glioma cancer care by accurately predicting patient-specific response and non-response before the start of treatment.”

A recent study comparing tumor tissue collected using conventional methods to tissue collected using the NICO Myriad and APS system showed NICO’s tissue was equivalent or superior in every metric tested: long-term cell viability, RNA preservation, protein preservation, and live cell count. This important advancement is a key ingredient in suppling Kiyatec with the best possible information for 3D Predict.

“Imagine better tissue leading to more certainty of what drugs will work, or even more importantly, what drugs won’t work in treating one of the most treatment-resistant cancers,” Pearson said. “This partnership is a step in the right direction for dramatically increasing the percentage of patients we can help with precision medicine.”

Because GBM patients exhibit highly variable treatment responses in both newly diagnosed and recurrent tumors, tests measuring the response of their live cancer cells against a panel of drugs – which then determine the best patient-specific therapy options – may result in delayed disease progression. To date, drug treatments for GBM have not significantly extended patient lives beyond a few extra months. Improving patient-specific response detection through highly viable tissue samples is an opportunity to significantly improve this extension of time, Gevaert said.