BioTime, Inc. through its majority-owned subsidiary OncoCyte, is using stem cell based technologies to create unique non-invasive products that exhibit improved performance in the early diagnosis of cancers. This unique technology is based on analyzing the patterns of genes expressed by a broad range of cultured cells and tissues, focusing on embryonic stem cells and other cells associated with embryonic development. Using a proprietary mathematical formula called a “Gene Expression Classifier,” this data is compared with the gene expression patterns exhibited by cancer tissues. The result is the discovery of a set of key “biomarkers” that can be used to determine the early presence or absence of cancer.
OncoCyte is developing non-invasive cancer diagnostic tests. These tests are designed to be more cost effective and improve performance and accuracy over the current standard of care, thus avoiding costly procedures from false positive results that sometimes occur in currently available tests. OncoCyte is conducting early clinical validation trials for its cancer diagnostic products allowing for the early detection of lung, breast, and bladder cancers.
In addition to the value in developing diagnostic tests, an understanding of these discovered patterns of gene expression may also enable the development of powerful new cancer therapeutics.