RDA™ Trial Initiated in Quebec
Dr. Jean-Francois Boileau at the Montreal Jewish General has recruited the first patients into the planned multi-centre RDA trial in Quebec. Dr. Boileau is a surgical oncologist and clinician-researcher specializing in breast cancer. He is a strong advocate of neoadjuvant therapy as a more effective way to treat breast cancer patients in order to better understand the complexities of tumour response and to deliver personalized treatments that lead to improved patient outcomes.
Rna Diagnostics (RnaDx) is building on its clinical data through collaborations with breast cancer specialists in Europe and North America.
1) Prospective studies designed specifically for RDA: Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, Montreal Jewish General Hospital, Methodist Hospital in Texas, USA and multiple centres in Ontario, Canada.
2) Retrospective studies of trials completed by other groups that have either data or biopsies that can be analysed by RDA, are occurring in Sweden, Italy and Germany.
3) “Piggyback” studies in which the RDA procedure can be added to new drug trials conducted by collaborators in Germany and Italy.
St Gallen Cancer Conference, March 2013
The breast cancer oncology community’s movement to broader use of neoadjuvant therapy was apparent to the 5,000 specialists attending this conference. In meetings with over 20 KOL’s, RnaDx management heard strong, positive interest in RDA. These discussions have led to collaboration discussions and agreements for use of RDA in neoadjuvant clinical trials, in Europe, North America and Japan.
Math Talent Supports Rna Dx
“Early in the development of the RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™), we identified the need for mathematical and statistical expertise to develop the algorithm used to predict the patient’s response to treatment. We needed to customize the output from the bioanalyzer,” said Rna Diagnostics’ Principal Scientist Laura Pritzker.
After assessing the options to obtain this expertise, RnaDx chose to participate in the Mitacs-Accelerate internship program with the Department of Computational Mathematics, University of Waterloo (UW). With guidance from Associate Professor Mu Zhu, and biochemistry expertise from Dr. Laura Pritzker, Masters student Xiaohui Wang developed a complex algorithm in an RnaDx sponsored internship. Xiaohui continued with RnaDx after her internship, working part-time while completing her degree and is now a full-time employee.
Building in-house expertise rather than outsourcing has had numerous benefits. With continued strong backing at UW, the algorithm continues to be refined while maintaining its proprietary nature. And for Xiaohui, “The internship gave me new skills and industry exposure which led to a full-time job with Rna Diagnostics. I enjoy using my math knowledge and applying it to biology. Best of all is that I can help people.” Read more in Mitacs article
Federal Funding to Advance RDA™
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has awarded Rna Diagnostics $462,500 to prepare RNA Disruption Assay™ (RDA™), for commercial launch in European markets.
“This is an investment in the future. It will allow us to complete the development of RDA which will significantly improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. It will also allow us to create quality jobs in the molecular diagnostics field,” said Dr. Ken Pritzker, Rna Diagnostic President and CEO. Read news release