The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, led by CU Innovations, has partnered with medical technology entrepreneurs Jonathan Gasson and Sharon Lake to form a new company called PreView Medical, which will focus on the development and optimization of new diagnostic procedures and treatments for prostate cancer.
PreView Medical’s ClariCore System is based on a patented, clinically proven optical biopsy needle that combines advanced tissue analyses with machine learning. It allows physicians to examine the prostate in real-time for any signs of cancer.
The concept of combining tissue spectroscopy — a powerful technique that analyzes the composition of different body tissues — with a biopsy needle for the diagnosis of prostate cancer was originally conceived by a group of researchers at CU Anschutz.
With clinical studies showing that the algorithm in the new ClariCore System has high accuracy, PreView Medical’s new technology could lower the need for patients to undergo conventional biopsies.
“PreView Medical’s disruptive technology could enhance cancer detection in a very efficient and office-based process,” Neal Shore, MD, medical director of the Carolina Urologic Research Center, and investigator in the FDA-approved trial, said in a press release.
“The ClariCore System will enable patient treatment in the ambulatory setting,” Shore said. “The implications for improved tumor detection and avoidance of unnecessary biopsies will have attendant patient benefit and potential healthcare resource savings.”
In addition, PreView Medical is working on the development of a new mathematical algorithm that would create a high-definition, three-dimensional map of prostate tumors. These highly detailed maps would then be used as a reference to indicate where certain cancer lesions — the targets of focal therapy — can be found.
Focal therapy consists of a variety of non-invasive techniques that destroy small tumors inside the prostate while leaving the remaining gland intact. This technique is less invasive compared with current standard-of-care treatments, which include removing or irradiating the whole prostate. Focal therapy also is associated with less patient disease.
“We are encouraged by the positive clinical trial work already completed,” said Steve VanNurden, associate vice-chancellor of biotechnology for CU Anschutz.
“A study involving more than 200 patients at eight sites validated high algorithm accuracy,” he said. “Launching PreView is a testament to the hard work already completed.”
The new company, which received $250,000 in seed funding from the CU Anschutz Office of the Chancellor, is now planning to raise a Series A financing round to further develop its technology. It also plans to take part in U.S. Food and Drug Administration trials needed to seek device clearance.
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