Hospitals

Columbus company to develop new cancer-cell collector for research

PreCelleon, which is based in Columbus, will use cell-separation technology licensed from Ohio State University and Cleveland Clinic. Cancerous cells would be tagged, separated and gathered for further research in a more effective way than current approaches.

Image via Wikipedia

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new company will develop a scientific tool to collect more cancerous cells for research, which could also potentially gauge the severity of cancer in a body.

PreCelleon, based in Columbus, will use cell-separation technology licensed from Ohio State University and Cleveland Clinic. The deal is a significant one for Ohio State in part because it has struggled to license its innovations compared to schools with similar resources. But it has made new efforts recently to improve commercialization.

“We’re trying to identify and move forward to allow us to be a stronger player in the bioscience realm, and that includes medical devices and pharmaceuticals and across the whole gamut of life sciences,” said Ryan Zinn, a senior technology licensing associate in Ohio State’s department for technology licensing & commercialization.

Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

The technology is based off research from Ohio State’s Jeffrey Chalmers and Cleveland Clinic’s Maciej Zborowski. Cancerous cells would be tagged, separated and gathered for further research in a more effective way than current approaches, Chalmers said. Plus, the tool can tell how many circulating tumor cells are in a blood sample, results which researchers can use to decide how to treat a cancer patient. Chalmers also said the technology could be developed further to identify the type of cancer in the blood.

The advancement is meant to provide details to more accurately predict the future and prescribe treatments, Tom Ward, PreCelleon’s president, stated in a press release. Ward is also the president of Ward Engineering, which designs, develops and manufactures medical devices. Both companies are housed at the same location in Columbus, and the innovations licensed by OSU and the Clinic will be incorporated into test equipment there.

The research and now development for this device is funded by a state Third Frontier grant, which will now fund market research, lab setup, testing and building a working model of the device.