Dimeric molecule combines anti-HER2 and an immunity booster
Re-Invent Serum HER2 Monitoring
Martell has obtained rights and soon will bring to market to a second generation serum HER2/neu ELISA test. This technology is licensed from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. These scientists first discovered the HER2/neu biomarker in 1979, thus pioneering the concept of Precision Medicine—drugs that target a specific genetic change in tumors cells act to arrest tumor growth. Our second generation HERTEST will provide a proprietary anchor in what we project to be a large future market.
Our immune system fights off early cancer but begins to fail as the cancer spreads. This is reflected in rising serum levels of the protein PD-L1. Martell will introduce a serum PD-L1 ELISA to measure tumor immunity. Drugs to block PD-L1 and stimulate tumor immunity are in advanced clinical trials but no blood test has reached the market. This test impacts all types of breast cancer and other cancers.
Point of Care Device
We envision our reference lab tests moving to the oncologist’s office. It takes 10-14 days to receive most serum biomarker test reports. This could be reduced to one hour by using a novel microfluidic, cartridge-based test system in the doctor's office. We have begun to design a detection system using a very sensitive chemistry called FACTT licensed from University of Pennsylvania. Our FACTT POC will initially measure HER2/neu. The Martell system will use proprietary chemistry, and our company will sell pre-loaded cartridges that fit a reader machine manufactured and supplied by our strategic partner. A doctor can quickly tailor therapy to match test results.
Our advisers envision a common interface between HER2/neu and tumor immunity, and we plan to license and develop a drug lead that addresses both. Commonly, patients with HER2 tumors become resistant to drug therapy after 27-50 months. Animal data suggests that our drug lead is capable of reversing this resistance. We plan to initiate pre-IND studies to advance this molecule to FDA Phase 1 clinical trials.
Martell Diagnostic Laboratories, Inc. was formed to solve several very major deficiencies in the management of breast cancer and advance exciting new technologies and solutions. Our first “product” is a blood test to monitor the course and treatment of HER2 breast cancer, the most aggressive form responsible for the majority of deaths. We recently began promoting HERTEST, a branded version of the sHER2/neu ELISA test. Our commercial business model revolves around establishing a Minnesota-based national reference laboratory. In addition, we have initiated a product development program to improve HERTEST and introduce related serum diagnostics. We are exploring ways to take these tests to the doctor’s office. We plan to advance a drug lead that is designed to reverse the common problem of HER2 drug resistance.