PreCyte is developing the Indicator Cell Assay Platform (iCAP), a broadly applicable and inexpensive platform for blood-based diagnostics that can be used for the early detection of disease, and as a companion diagnostic for drug development.
The iCAP uses cultured cells as biosensors, capitalizing on the ability of cells to respond differently to signals present in the serum (or other biofluid) from normal or diseased subjects with exquisite sensitivity, as opposed to traditional assays that rely on direct detection of molecules in blood.
Developing the iCAP involves exposing cultured cells to serum from normal or diseased subjects, measuring a global differential response pattern, and using it to build a reliable disease classifier composed of a small number of features.
Deploying the iCAP involves measuring only the expression of genes that are features of the disease classifier using cost-effective tools. Indicator cells are chosen based on the disease application, and those typically selected have known relationships to the disease pathology.
The iCAP can overcome barriers to blood-based diagnostics like the broad dynamic range of blood components, low abundance of specific markers, and high levels of noise.