Author Archives: KIYATEC

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Telling Cancer to Take a Hike

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Innovation milestone is a message of authentic hope for local cancer patients

By Matthew Gevaert, Ph.D., and W. Jeffrey Edenfield, MD

Cancer innovation and hiking the Appalachian Trail have a few things in common.

Neither happens overnight; the AT typically takes five to seven months, and meaningful innovation in cancer research can take five to seven years or more, start to finish.

Both are marked by increasingly significant milestones as the end goal nears. In the case of the AT, certain literal “mile” stones are of special importance on each hiker’s 2,189-mile trek.

On the cancer innovation side, we achieved one of those significant milestones on Dec. 14 when Greenville Health System and KIYATEC announced an enhanced partnership that will soon bring Upstate cancer patients access to a series of groundbreaking diagnostic tests.

These tests could accurately predict which drugs a patient will respond to before he receives a single treatment, potentially saving patients months of ineffective, toxic, and expensive chemotherapies.

And because of our unique partnership, this will happen in Greenville first – before anywhere else in the world.

It is unusual within health care that a hospital would allow a company to locate within its walls, enabling private-sector leadership to rub shoulders and bump elbows with oncologists and cancer-care professionals in the same place where patients are being treated.

But GHS embraced this concept, and it has proved to be a formula for success.  Predicting how a patient will respond to a specific drug is an enormous challenge that many researchers have unsuccessfully tried to overcome. But KIYATEC may have done it through studying tissues from more than 500 patients across many cancers, the majority of whom were treated at GHS.

Using these tissues, KIYATEC has conducted “blinded” clinical studies, first in ovarian cancer, initially with GHS and later with other institutions. They are blinded in that although a patient-specific prediction is made, KIYATEC does not share this information with the participating oncologists, and also in that KIYATEC does not receive any information about the patient’s identity. Thus, test information does not influence any treatment decisions until test performance has been sufficiently evaluated.

Here’s where it gets really exciting. The early data from these blinded clinical studies is now in, showing up to 93 percent accuracy predicting how women who are newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer will respond to platinum chemotherapy, the most common drug for patients in this situation. The test makes a prediction within seven days; each patient’s response or nonresponse in real life can take up to 12 months to determine.

Now, with confidence in the test’s performance, we are jointly ready to move into the next phase of innovation. GHS and KIYATEC have agreed to an enhanced partnership, in which GHS will serve as KIYATEC’s flagship clinical institution for the “unblinded” clinical studies.

There is a huge difference in these studies compared with the prior ones, because in these studies KIYATEC’s data will be released to the clinicians, who will now have the benefit of the response prediction for each enrolled patient. It is a win for KIYATEC: The company has done a lot of great things, but it has never used its data to help improve a patient’s outcome, which is a core element of the company’s mission.

But, it is also a win for GHS, and most importantly, GHS’ cancer patients, who through the study will be eligible to receive individually guided care in a way that initially no other patients, at any other treatment center, will have the benefit of.

This cancer innovation journey is not over. The test must be proven in the larger clinical studies hosted by GHS and eventually by other clinical institutions from across the nation. Patient enrollment here in Greenville is projected to begin early this year, and commercial launch of the first test could be as early as 2020.

So, just like the AT hiker who has hit a significant milestone midjourney, there are still miles to go. But it’s great to take a breath having summitted one of the biggest peaks on the way there. 

Matthew Gevaert, Ph.D, is the CEO of KIYATEC Inc., a Greenville company pioneering the ability to accurately predict individual cancer patients’ response to therapies. 

W. Jeffrey Edenfield, MD, is the medical director for GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), where KIYATEC is located.

Original article found here.


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GHS and KIYATEC Announcement Video

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Greenville Health System and Kiyatec Research announced exciting news about cancer care and treatment today.


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GHS Cancer Institute, KIYATEC partner on cancer diagnostic testing

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Staff Report – 12.14.17

The Greenville Hospital System Cancer Institute and Greenville-based KIYATEC have partnered to provide cancer patients with the diagnostic testing they need to make informed health decisions. The first of these tests to be available is one that can indicate ovarian cancer patients’ future response to chemotherapy before undergoing treatment with up to 93% accuracy, according to a news release.

As the flagship clinical partner of KIYATEC, GHS Cancer Institute patients will be the first to receive the opportunity to benefit from these tests through clinical studies initially applicable to all ovarian cancer patients. Through the partnership, KIYATEC will expand the test offerings to patients with other cancers within the coming year, according to the release.

“Human cells are as unique as the patients themselves, so you really need to see the way those cells interact with given drugs to know for certain what treatment will work,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC, in the release. “By placing each patient’s cancer cells in conditions that mimic the actual human body, we can drill down to drug effect on the cellular level and establish the connection between the results we see in the lab and the response we hope to see in the patients.”

Original article found here.


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3 Posters @ AACR 2017 in DC

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Three KIYATEC abstracts accepted for poster presentations during 2017 AACR Conference in Washington D.C.

KIYATEC, a private company prioritizing accurate ex vivo prediction of patients’ response to drug treatment, received acceptance of three posters for presentations during the upcoming AACR conference.

GREENVILLE, SC, March 21, 2017– KIYATEC Inc. is pleased to announce that three abstracts have been accepted by the committee at the American Association for Cancer Research (www.aacr.org).  KIYATEC scientific and business development staff will be in attendance at the conference.  In addition to the poster presentations, also KIYATEC will be exhibiting at Booth 1556.  Stop by to learn more about our 10+ years of 3D cell culture experience and the latest 3D co-culture model development projects focused on immuno-oncology applications.

  •  Abstract #1923 / 24 – Paired isolation and expansion of CSC and CTC from primary small cell lung cancer patient tissue and blood using the 3DKUBE bioreactor platform | Monday Apr 3, 2017 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Location: Section 41 / Poster 24 (LINK)
  • Abstract #4834 / 24 – 3D modeling of immune cell interactions in breast cancer and prediction of immunotherapy response | Tuesday,
    Apr 4, 2017, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PMLocation: Section 39 / Poster 24 (LINK)
  • Abstract #4837 / 27 – Development of an in vitro 3D glioblastoma model system for patient-specific drug response profiling Tuesday,
    Apr 4, 2017 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Location: Section 39 / Poster 27 (LINK)
3D Cell Culture Models

3 Posters Accepted at AACR 2017 Washington DC


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KIYATEC & Mayo Clinic Collaborate to Fight Ovarian Cancer

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KIYATEC AND MAYO CLINIC COLLABORATE TO FIGHT OVARIAN CANCER

Collaboration aims to validate the accuracy ex vivo 3D (EV3D) cell culture predictions against ovarian cancer patient outcomes

Greenville, S.C. | June 16, 2016 07:00 EDT – KIYATEC, a leader in emerging 3D ex vivo predictive cancer diagnostics, today announced a collaboration with Mayo Clinic to combine their complementary technology platforms for ovarian cancer clinical care.

Mayo Clinic is actively enrolling patients in a clinical study led by principal investigator John Weroha, M.D., in which patient-derived xenografts (PDX) generate living tumor samples specific to each enrolled ovarian cancer patient. The study assesses whether those samples can help determine which chemotherapy is most effective to treat that individual ovarian cancer patient should they become platinum resistant. A limitation of any PDX model is that it typically takes six to nine months before data is produced.  For some patients that don’t respond at all to the initial treatment information is needed in just a few weeks, a challenge inherent to any clinical study of this sort – until now.

KIYATEC similarly uses living tumor samples specific to each ovarian cancer patient in its active research study with Greenville Health System (GHS), the first healthcare provider to partner with KIYATEC on this research.  The difference is that KIYATEC uses its 3D cell culture platform to generate patient specific drug response prediction data in just 7 days.  If the research collaboration is successful, KIYATEC’s technology would complement the Mayo approach and allow for more patients to be treated according to personalized drug response models.

 “This significantly advances KIYATEC’s goal to validate the accuracy of our cell culture predictions against patient outcomes, the gold standard for these kinds of comparisons,” said Hal Crosswell, M.D., KIYATEC’s Chief Medical Officer.

About KIYATEC

KIYATEC’s mission is to accurately predict patient response to cancer drugs using their living tumor cells in 3D culture, and to use those predictions to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and increase success in drug development and clinical trials.  The company creates and utilizes live phenotypic 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling and applies them to generate information relevant to preclinical testing, clinical trials and clinical cancer diagnostic applications. 

For more information, please visit www.kiyatec.com or follow KIYATEC on Twitter (@KIYATEC).


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KIYATEC Announces Inaugural SAB Members

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KIYATEC Announces Inaugural Scientific Advisory Board Members

Experts to Provide Invaluable Insight and Guidance to Advance Predictive Cancer Diagnostics.
Members:  Carlos L. Arteaga, MD (Vanderbilt University), David Kaplan, PhD (Tufts University), Anil Sood, MD (MD Anderson)

Greenville, S.C. | April 4, 2016 – KIYATEC, a leader in emerging 3D ex vivo predictive cancer diagnostics, today announced the appointment of leading experts to its scientific advisory board (SAB).   The SAB will serve in a strategic oversight capacity to help guide KIYATEC as it continues the development and validation of predictive cancer diagnostics and complex ex vivo 3D tumor models.

“This is the ideal group to help us take a quantum leap forward for cancer patients and their treatment decisions” said Matt Gevaert, Ph.D., KIYATEC’s CEO. “The impressive scientific and clinical backgrounds of our SAB members bring a level of expertise rarely seen in the clinical diagnostics markets.  In conjunction with our exceptional scientific team at KIYATEC, our SAB will lead us towards developing the world’s most clinically relevant and predictive cancer diagnostics.”

The members of KIYATEC’s scientific advisory board include:

  • Carlos L. Arteaga, MD (Vanderbilt University) is the Donna S. Hall Chair in Breast Cancer Research and Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Arteaga is Director of the Center for Cancer Targeted Therapies and the Breast Cancer Program and Associate Director for Translational/Clinical Research at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC). He is funded by the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and Stand Up 2 Cancer (SU2C) among others.  He is an inducted member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (1998) and the Association of American Physicians (2005).  Arteaga is a former recipient of the AACR Richard & Hinda Rosenthal Award, an ACS Clinical Research Professor Award, the 2009 Gianni Bonadonna Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the 2011 Brinker Award from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the 2015 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine from the American-Italian Cancer Foundation. He was elected Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2015 and serves in the Scientific Advisory Board of the Komen Foundation. He served as the 2014-5 President of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR).
  • David Kaplan, PhD (Tufts University) is the Stern Family Professor of Engineering, an Endowed Chair at Tufts University. He is also Professor and Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering there and also holds faculty appointments in the School of Medicine, the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering. His research focus is on biopolymer engineering with emphasis on studies related to biomaterials engineering and functional tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. He has published over 600 peer reviewed papers and edited eight books. He directs the NIH P41 Tissue Engineering Resource Center (TERC) bridging Tufts University and Columbia University and is Associate Editor for the ACS journal Biomacromolecules. He has received a number of awards for teaching.   Kaplan is an Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, has been honored with the Columbus Discovery Medal and Society for Biomaterials Clemson Award and serves of the editorial boards of numerous scientific journals.
  • Anil Sood, MD (MD Anderson) is the Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine at MD Anderson, and is a Leader in Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot program focusing on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). He is also Director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program and Co-Director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA.   Sood has received major recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher.  He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and AAAS.

“The formation of KIYATEC’s SAB reflects our collective commitment to translate patient-derived tumor models into functional drug response assays and biomarkers,” said Hal Crosswell, MD, Chief Medical Officer of KIYATEC.  “We are honored to be working with such an esteemed and accomplished board who share our mission of improving lives of cancer patients.”

KIYATEC Cancer Diagnostics SAB


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3 KIYATEC Posters @AACR 2016

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Three KIYATEC abstracts accepted for poster presentations during 2016 AACR Conference in New Orleans

KIYATEC, a private company prioritizing accurate ex vivo prediction of patients’ response to drug treatment, received acceptance of three posters for presentations during the upcoming AACR conference.

GREENVILLE, SC, March 21, 2016– KIYATEC Inc. is pleased to announce that three abstracts have been accepted by the committee at the American Association for Cancer Research (www.aacr.org).  KIYATEC scientific and business development staff will be in attendance at the conference.  In addition to the poster presentations, also KIYATEC will be exhibiting at Booth 1050.  Stop by to learn more about our 10+ years of 3D cell culture experience and the latest 3D co-culture model development projects focused on immuno-oncology applications.

  •  Abstract #611: A Complex 3D Model of Glioblastoma for Patient-Specific Drug Response Profiling  | Sunday Apr 17, 2016 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM | Location: Section 28 / Poster 12
  • Abstract #2531: Marker free isolation and expansion of cancer stem cells from small cell lung cancer | Monday, Apr 18, 2016, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PMLocation: Section 34 / Poster 20
  • Abstract # 5119: Complex, 3D tissues for modeling the immune response in cancer and predicting the activity of immunotherapies | Wednesday Apr 20, 2016 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM | Location: Section 31 / Poster 5

Ex Vivo 3D Cancer Models


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NCI Contract: Cancer Stem Cell / Lung Cancer Project

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National Cancer Institute (NCI) Awards KIYATEC $1.725M to Develop Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) Expansion Technology 

Contract Funds 3D Cell Culture Technology Platform to Expand CSCs for Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) Model Development

GREENVILLE, SC | October 22, 2015 – KIYATEC announced today the award of a Fast Track Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Contract for $1.725M from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The overall goal of the contract is to develop culture systems which can grow and maintain the rare population of malignant cells referred to by some as cancer stem cells, which are believed to lead to therapy resistance, relapse and death from metastatic disease.  KIYATEC’s focus is small cell lung cancer (SCLC), one of the deadliest forms of cancer today with little advancement in treatments in 4 decades.

NCI Cancer Stem Cell Contract Award


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NIBIB Contract: 3D Bone Marrow Mimetic

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National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) Awards KIYATEC $225,000 to Develop 3D Platelet Bank 

Contract Funds 3D Microbioreactor Bone Marrow Mimetic for Platelet Production

GREENVILLE, SC | September 30, 2015 – KIYATEC announced today that it has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I Grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Over the course of the six month award, KIYATEC will develop 3D microbioreactors useful for the in vitro production of platelets and advance its technology around bone marrow models.  Bone marrow has important implications for the company’s focus in 3D cancer assays, especially with respect to immuno-oncology models combining cancer and the human immune system.  In collaboration with Tufts University’s biomaterial scaffold design and fabrication expertise, KIYATEC will develop a perfusion bioreactor system containing a live bone marrow mimetic capable of generating clinically relevant quantities of platelets from initial bone marrow precursor cells and then characterize their morphology and function.

3D Bone Marrow Mimetic


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KIYATEC Places 2nd @ RESI 2015 in Boston

KIYATEC PLACES 2ND AT REDEFINING EARLY STAGE INVESTMENTS (RESI) BOSTON
The conference showcased 30 of the most innovative life science technology companies and winners were chosen by investors, researchers and executives vote in RESI cash.

BOSTON, MA | September 16, 2015 – KIYATEC Inc. is pleased to announce that our RESI Conference poster entitledThe Business of Accurately Predicting Drug Response of Cancer Therapeuticsplaced 2nd at the RESI Conference at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.  The field of 30 presenting companies covered a broad array of life science technologies and each conference participant was given RESI cash with which they voted on their favorite technology company.  KIYATEC’s ex vivo 3D cell culture platform is being used by numerous pharmaceutical and biotech companies to predict patient drug response using primary tumors cultured in a more clinically relevant in vitro screening approach. The platform is also being used to build out a robust clinical development pipeline to predict patient drug response. 

Poster Highlights:

• 3D cell culture techniques enable creation of clinically relevant in vitro tumor models. 
• Ex Vivo 3D (EV3D) assay platform enables development of a broad range of cancer diagnostics.
• Complex co-culture models can be created to investigate immuno-oncology (IO) drug response.
• KIYATEC is expanding our clinical development pipeline in 2016 to begin clinical trials in ovarian, breast, GBM and lung cancers.

ABSTRACT:  

Current genomic technologies used in precision cancer care are proving to be less effective than initially touted.  The reason for their lower effectiveness is that the presence of genomic alterations often does not correlate with results in the clinic.  The current paradigm of basing clinical therapy decisions upon genetic mutation status fails to address the key problem in the field of oncology: patient response.
To address this problem, KIYATEC has developed clinically relevant in vitro assay systems that incorporate patient-derived tumor tissues.   Our approach enables researchers and eventually, clinicians, to more effectively predict drug response in real-time in order to enhance preclinical drug candidate selection, clinical trial decision making (such as supporting adaptive trial designs) and clinical treatment regimens. 
KIYATEC is now tackling drug development issues across a broad array of cancers including ovarian, breast, lung, GBM and pancreatic.  Our assay platforms have been shown to be significantly more predictive than standard 2D cell culture techniques and when integrated upfront with traditional PDX models, can greatly enhance efficiency and lower costs. We are rapidly expanding our clinical development pipeline and plan on beginning pivotal trials in ovarian and breast cancers in 2016.