Cernostics, Inc., Bethlehem, has developed a diagnostic and prognostic test that predicts the risk of developing esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is among the most deadly cancers, with a five-year survival rate of less than 17%. Driven by increasing rates of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it is also the fastest-growing cancer by incidence in western countries. Cernostics is developing this technology in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, Geisinger Health System, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with funding and business support from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit the University of Pennsylvania on Friday, January 15 to kick off the “Moonshot to Cure Cancer” program. President Obama announced that the vice president will lead this program during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Cernostics’ work complements the goals of the “Moonshot to Cure Cancer” program.
Cernostics’ unique TissueCypherTM Barrett’s Esophagus Assay predicts the future risk of a patient’s progression to esophageal cancer. The assay identifies very-high-risk Barrett’s Esophagus patients, who are ten times more likely to develop esophageal cancer within five years of their upper-GI endoscopy procedure when compared with low-risk patients. With this information, physicians can take steps to intervene before patients contract esophageal cancer.
The TissueCypher™ platform quantifies the complexity of the tissue system. Cernostics uses this information to provide physicians and patients with individualized, actionable information to improve outcomes and reduce the incidence, mortality, and cost of cancer.
“Our TissueCypher™ platform provides deeper and more complete understanding of the cellular and molecular changes taking place within the esophageal tissue of patients with Barrett’s Esophagus. This will lead to improved decision making for physicians to manage care for patients with Barrett’s Esophagus and reflux disease,” said Mike Hoerres, CEO of Cernostics. The company plans to launch the TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay in 2016.
Cernostics, Inc.’s vision is to be the leader in tissue-based diagnostic testing, providing diagnostic tests with deeper tissue insights, better patient outcomes and lower cost-of-care. Its mission is to quantify the complexity of the tissue system, providing physicians and patients with individualized, actionable information to improve outcomes and reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer. Cernostics is a client of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania and is headquartered in Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem.
Cernostics delivers next generation cancer diagnostics and prognostics through an innovative approach to tissue analysis – the evaluation of the tumor as a system composed of multiple interacting cell types, including tumor cells and stromal cells such as immune cells. Its patent-protected technology platform, TissueCypher™, uniquely analyzes whole slide digital images and is designed to provide greater information and accuracy than traditional tissue diagnostics. Cernostics’ lead product, TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay, will deliver the most comprehensive evaluation of esophageal cancer risk for Barrett’s Esophagus patient’s currently available, providing actionable information to gastroenterologists, pathologists, and the patients themselves.