EKF's PointMan enriches low-level DNA mutations from whole blood

Jan. 30, 2014

Cardiff, UK-based in vitro diagnostics company EKF Diagnostics has announced what company representatives characterize as a major breakthrough for its PointMan DNA enrichment technology for potential use in future cancer testing and treatment. The first successful results of a collaboration between EKF Molecular Diagnostics and the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) at Swansea University have demonstrated the detection of gene mutations in blood from samples archived in the Wales Cancer Bank. The Company's PointMan technology was used to analyze the whole blood of cancer patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, enabling the identification of gene mutations associated with response to drug treatment.

The results observed for mutations in the gene BRAF were consistent with the formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples. FFPE is the laboratory standard method to prepare all biopsy samples for pathology review in order to diagnose the cancer. Reportedly, these results have been confirmed by DNA sequencing, which had failed to identify the mutations prior to sample enrichment through EKF’s PointMan technology.

Julian Baines, CEO of EKF, comments, “This is a major step forward not just for the company but also for the future testing of cancer patients. We hope that less-invasive testing will become routine using our PointMan technology. We are looking forward to continuing to work with ILS Swansea to continue to build the evidence base.”

EKF Molecular's portfolio of PointMan DNA enrichment products include BRAF, KRAS, EGFR, NRAS and JAK2.