2020 Startups and Scaleups
Craif is a liquid biopsy company, developing a urine test to detect early cancer. It is capable to detect >10 cancers at once, even in early stages, and in 95% accuracy.
Our core technology is in fabricating nano-materials especially for biological use. We invented a micro-fluid nanowire device to collect more than 99% of urinary exosomes.
Recent liquid biopsies are powerful modality to scan biological conditions noninvasively, but they share a serious drawback; difficulty to detect trace amounts of biomarkers. For example, miRNA are important biomolecules that regulate the expression level of -60% of the whole genome. They are mainly located in exosomes, tiny vesicles secreted by cells for the purpose of extracellular communication, but researchers were lacking effective extraction methods.
Our device is capable of extracting >99% exosomes and detects >1300 miRNA species, while only <25% exosomes extracted and to ~300 miRNA species could be detected by the conventional method, ultracentrifugation.
Using this device, we succeeded to develop an algorithm capable of detecting lung cancer, including early stages in 97% sensitivity and 98% specificity by comparing the urinal miRNA profile of lung cancer patients with that of non-cancer donors. Another research using clinical samples revealed that we were also able to detect brain tumors in a similar accuracy. Additionally, we were also able to distinguish lung cancer from brain tumors as well.
Further on, we are applying this technology for treatment selection and patient stratification to support drug discovery. We are initiating multiple projects with pharmaceutical companies.