WHAT IS FREENOME?

 

Freenome is a technology company developing proprietary algorithms and novel methods to enable and empower accurate diagnosis of clinical conditions and optimize their therapy. Our platform utilizes the power of next-generation sequencing to bring about the dream of better non-invasive investigation, and appropriate personalized treatment planning, of cancer.

THE PROBLEM

 

Assessment of cancer, and selection of optimal treatment regimes, is currently a long, costly and invasive procedure that can be woefully incomplete and inaccurate. Depending on the type of tumor, invasive biopsies can take months, cost tens of thousands of dollars and lead to injury and morbidity.

Our partners 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), which can be picked up by next generation sequencing (NGS).

Our platform analyzes the data thus generated, using proprietary computational algorithms and our specialized pipeline is able to detect changes that allow us to accurately diagnose many different types of cancer at a meaningful clinical decision point, and help ascertain the best potential treatment course. 

Particularly, our technology is used by pharma partners developing new therapeutic approaches especially in immuno-oncology, to understand and avert treatment-failures, to search for new targets, and devise strategies to monitor disease.

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.