Biocept Issues Letter to Stockholders - Seite 2
Focus on Neuro-Oncology
Last year we launched our Target Selector CSF assays for diagnosing and monitoring lung and breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain and central nervous system. Depending on the type of cancer, between 10% and 30% of adults with cancer will develop brain metastases. Detecting metastases in CSF is critical as advances in treatment strategies and new targeted therapies are helping patients with this type of metastatic cancer to live significantly longer.
Our new assays fill a significant market need as the current standard of care, CSF cytology, has very limited sensitivity to detect metastases and provides no information about molecular targets for therapy choice. Further, CSF cytology frequently results in negative results when tumor involvement of the central nervous system is suspected, which often leads to repeat attempts to collect CSF samples from lumbar punctures. Our initial studies show that Target Selector allows for a more sensitive, cell-specific and quantitative assessment of tumors in CSF, allowing for the diagnosis of metastases and providing information about molecular alterations that can aid in the choice of therapy.
We are beginning to gain recognition within the medical community as our study results were featured at several major international scientific meetings last year. Additional initiatives underway to support physician adoption include working with key opinion leaders as study collaborators to further establish the clinical utility of our Target Selector CSF assays and advance our assays toward standard of care. While CSF assays currently represent a small percentage of our business, we expect volumes to continue to increase each quarter as we progress through 2021.
This groundbreaking work in CSF and overall advancements with our oncology business are being led by Michael Dugan, MD, who joined Biocept in mid-August as our Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director. Dr. Dugan is highly regarded in the pathology and molecular diagnostics industry and has served in leading medical positions at several high-profile diagnostics firms. We are pleased to have him on the Biocept team.
Update on Oncology Testing Business
Like other molecular biology companies, our oncology testing business has been impacted by the pandemic. We fully expect test volumes will return to historical levels as the pandemic subsides. In the meantime, our strategy is to take actions that position us for a strong future. Among these is entering into new provider agreements with integrated health systems and other capitated plans that provide quality healthcare delivered cost-effectively. By using a liquid biopsy with blood or CSF, our oncology assays are a cost-efficient means to profile for biomarkers that impact therapy and to monitor disease progression over time.