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New biomarkers and technologies for circulating tumor cells (CTC) identification and isolation

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External Id: 
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Partner keyword: 
Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
Diagnostics, Diagnosis
Medical Research
Other diagnostic
Research and experimental development on biotechnology
Hospital activities


A Spanish research group of the public health system has developed a new technology for improving circulating tumor cells (CTCs) isolation, detection and characterization. A license agreement or an agreement for a public or private partnership for the further development of the patented technology is sought.



Metastasis is responsible for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths. During this process, circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are generated, spread from the primary tumour, colonize distant organs and lead to overt metastatic disease. During the past decade a growing interest in CTCs has spread out across the oncology field, especially looking at their capacity as prognostic elements of cancer.

Despite important progresses in understanding and detecting CTCs, most of the assays still have low sensitivity; mainly due to the use of a few epithelial biomarkers to identify and isolate them from whole blood.

A Spanish hospital research group has designed a procedure to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs), both circulating tumor cells of phenotype epithelial as circulating tumor cells that present Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) markers using miRNA-21 as a biomarker.

The research group is looking for the following collaboration:
-License agreement: framework of authorizing the interested parts to use the technology.
-Technical cooperation agreement: to collaborate with other research teams, companies or foundations to adapt the technologies to biological and therapeutic applications.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
- The heterogeneity present in the CTCs implies the existence of different subpopulations that cannot be isolated and detected with the mere use of epithelial markers. - The new procedure developed will allow the incorporation of mesenchymal markers to the isolation and detection devices of CTCs that will allow the identification of these subpopulations of CTCs with characteristics of mesenchymal cells. - The identification of these subpopulations will also allow the selection of therapies directed against tumor cells of epithelial origin that present these mesenchymal or semi mesenchymal phenotypes, in a more individualized and more specific way. - New group of CTC's epithelial biomarkers for prognosticating cancer. More specifically: colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer (non-metastatic breast cancer) and prostate cancer.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The research team wants to collaborate with researchers, companies and foundations that are interested in adapting chemical tools to biological and therapeutic applications. The research team is looking for license agreements or an agreement for public or private partnership for the development of technology.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,University,R&D Institution,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500