WHAT IS FREENOME?

 

Freenome is a technology company developing proprietary algorithms and novel methods to enable accurate diagnosis of clinical conditions. Our platform utilizes the power of next-generation sequencing to bring about the dream of non-invasive, accurate and early detection of cancer...from 1 mL of blood.

THE PROBLEM

 

Diagnosis of cancer is currently a long, costly and invasive procedure that can be woefully incomplete and inaccurate. Depending on the type of tumor, biopsies can take months, cost tens of thousands of dollars and give an incomplete view of tumor heterogeneity.

We extract the circulating, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) that are expelled by the cells in your body from a sample of your blood. Tumor cells expel cfDNA with mutations associated with cancer called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).

Using specialized, proprietary biotechnology and machine learning computational algorithms, we detect the ctDNA using real-time next-generation sequencing. Our specialized pipeline is able to detect novel mutations, copy number variations and translocations that allow us to accurately diagnose many different types of cancer and the best potential treatment course based on the complete genetic composition of the whole tumor.

Cells within the body constantly extrude DNA fragments that are representative of their genetic makeup. When a person’s body starts to develop tumor cells, the genetic makeup is altered to reflect the mutations associated with cancer.


The primary problem is that these ctDNA among the cfDNA may make up less than 0,1% of the entire cfDNA population. Therefore, detecting the ctDNA is an incredible signal-to-noise problem. We have collaborated to develop and test a new molecular biology probe that is able to detect the ctDNA fragments even if there are only 10 fragments in a sample. This unprecedented ability to detect these fragments allow us to effectively analyze and diagnose cancer.


Another bottleneck is the cost and time for sequencing. We are currently co-developing a technology that will allow us to develop an alternative sequencing method that will enable real-time sequencing (hours) and analysis of ctDNA for less than $1000.


Together, our computational and molecular biology tools will enable the most efficient, accurate and cost-effective “liquid biopsy” method of the future.