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ENPICOM and Cytura Therapeutics partner on early cancer detection


Today, two innovative Dutch SMEs active in Life Sciences, ENPICOM BV and Cytura Therapeutics BV, announced that their joint MIT Zuid R&D partnership subsidy has been granted. The project aims to develop a new biomarker and enzyme-based diagnostic assay for early cancer detection.


Cancer typically takes a long time to develop, and the challenge is to detect it at a very early stage. By intervening in early-stage cancer, patient well-being will increase, and healthcare costs will be reduced. In this project, Cytura Therapeutics and ENPICOM join forces to develop early screening and early diagnostics in this field. The collaboration means a unique synergy in therapy development, diagnostics, assay development, bioinformatics, and machine learning.

Ambitious project goals

The project aims to develop a new biomarker and diagnostic assay for early detection of cancer. Together with the newest bioinformatics principles, based on duplex sequencing and machine learning on pattern analysis in specific human (blood) cells, the R&D partnership brings a new approach to the market:

  • The leap from observation of existing mutations in patients towards identification of the underlying process causing the mutation.
  • To develop a diagnostic assay to demonstrate the presence of mutations in blood cells.

Technology leap

The main focus of this project is to quantify early cancer-causing mutations with biochemical and bioinformatic methods, based on the mechanism responsible for the early stage mutations and subsequent development of cancer.

The intended new principles will be based on duplex sequencing and machine learning and are needed to refine and accelerate mutational pattern analysis in specific human (blood) cells.

Jos Lunenberg, CEO of ENPICOM, commented: “We are extremely pleased with the R&D partnership, as it brings together two highly innovative SMEs in this field, with the right complementary knowledge and skillsets to jointly tackle this important challenge. Besides, the market perspective of this diagnostic assay is extremely promising”.

Ad van Gorp, PhD, Cytura Therapeutics CEO, added: “Late phase diagnosis, and therapy resistance are the main reasons of limited success of current therapies. Genomic instability is the main driving force of cancer initiation, development and therapy resistance. The R&D partnership will make early detection of genomic instability possible, enabling early diagnosis and interference with the compounds of Cytura.  This will improve life expectancy and the quality of life of a large number of patients.

Source: ENPICOM (press release)