Building an In-Vitro Diagnostic Portfolio – Sienna Cancer Diagnostics Ltd

18 July 2019

As reported in Biotech Daily

Sienna Chief Executive Officer Matthew Hoskin says the company is building a portfolio of in-vitro cancer diagnostic products to support researchers and laboratories.

Mr Hoskin told Biotech Daily that with the original human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) adjunct test for bladder cancer and the acquisition of Sevident for its biomarker capture technology, renamed Sien-net, the company was on the way to developing a pipeline of cancer diagnostics.

In April, Sienna said it would buy the San Francisco-based Sevident for up to $US2.8 million ($A3.95 million) in cash and scrip for its biomarker capture technology, with Sevident chief scientist and technology inventor Dr Emily Stein leading development and commercialization of the technology and Sevident chief executive officer, former Benitec chief executive officer, Dr Peter French, joining as an advisor (BD: Apr 2, 2019).

Today, Mr Hoskin told Biotech Daily that the Sien-net molecular “net” was a matrix designed to attract and capture analyte targets that were biomarkers of disease.

“It builds a scaffold around a magnetic nano-bead and will attract and bind the target,” Mr Hoskin said. “It has porosity, so it has gaps and spaces, so the smaller targets can enter but it excludes larger cells and molecules,” he said.

Mr Hoskin said the size of the gaps could be designed like a fishing net to capture the desired target.

Mr Hoskin said that Sien-net was a sample preparation technology to ensure that the appropriate anolytes were used as biomarkers for diagnostics.

He said samples for diagnostics needed to be prepared to retain “certain antibodies, proteins and lipids” while excluding other matter.

“We can out-licence or sell the Sien-net system to other companies and researchers, or we can use it in-house to develop our own diagnostics,” Mr Hoskin said.

“They all need solid sample preparation to design effective tests,” Mr Hoskin said.

Mr Hoskin said that the hTERT adjunct test for bladder cancer was not intended to replace existing diagnostics, but to support their results.

He said that existing diagnostics could miss potential bladder cancers, but the Sienna test could pick-up abnormalities before they became cancers.

Mr Hoskin said the company was working to encourage existing bladder cancer diagnostic companies to adopt its test to provide more definitive diagnoses.

He said the company had the hTERT test, was developing the Sien-net and expected to develop additional tests using the Sien-net technology.

“We want to have a portfolio of [in-vitro diagnostic] products coming through to create an ever-growing revenue opportunity for the company,” Mr Hoskin said.

Sienna said the technology would be used to develop exosome-based cancer tests.


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