LUND, Sweden — /November 15, 2018/ — SAGA Diagnostics announced today it has been awarded a follow-on grant of SEK 4.7 million (~ €450,000) from the SWElife Accelerator Innovation Program to support the product development objectives of SAGA’s ultrasensitive technologies for monitoring cancer patients using simple blood samples and other “liquid biopsies”. The grant will also support studies performed in collaboration with Skåne University Hospital, Uppsala University, and Karolinska / Södersjukhuset.
Monitoring cancer patients for response to therapy and identification of the most appropriate therapy is difficult. Today it is based on surgical tissue samples and tissue biopsies, which are inconvenient, costly, and can lead to serious complications, or on CT scans and other radiographic imaging, which lack sensitivity and give radiation exposure. Minimally-invasive methods, such as those based on blood samples and other bodily fluids (called “liquid biopsies”), are needed that can give an accurate readout of how much cancer is in the body, which drug targets are present, and how the tumor is responding to therapy over time.
SAGA’s proprietary technologies provide industry-leading ultrasensitivity down to 0.001% allele frequency – which is approximately 100-fold improved over competing methods. SAGA tests can identify the presence or absence of specific mutations that are the targets of approved drugs and drugs in clinical trials. Moreover, the tests are quantitative, prognostic, and treatment-predictive and provide information on how much cancer is within the body.
“SAGA is extremely pleased to receive this prestigious funding, which will be a significant boost for us to meet our commercial, regulatory, and clinical objectives more rapidly,” commented Lao Saal, CEO of SAGA Diagnostics. “We have terrific partners at SUS, UU, and SÖS/Karolinska, and I am very proud of the entire SAGA team — we are committed to bring our ultrasensitive blood-testing technologies to the benefit of cancer patients worldwide.”
The SWElife Accelerator Program is designed to support Swedish SME’s and SAGA Diagnostics is one of only 8 companies to be selected to receive a follow-on grant this round. Swelife is a strategic innovation program, funded by the Swedish Government via the Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova, and by the program’s partners. Swelife supports collaboration within academia, industry and healthcare, with the goal to strengthen Life Science in Sweden and to improve public health.
For more information, please contact:
Lao Saal, M.D. Ph.D.
CEO, SAGA Diagnostics
Phone: +46 (0)70 – 888 52 61
About SAGA Diagnostics
SAGA Diagnostics AB was founded in 2016 by investigators from the Department of Oncology and Pathology at Lund University, in Lund, Sweden. SAGA helps pharmaceutical companies, scientists, and healthcare providers to detect actionable mutations, stratify patient groups, and monitor treatment response more accurately and to an industry-leading lower limit of detection of 0.001%. Analysis of circulating tumor DNA using these proprietary technologies gives SAGA unique ultrasensitivity, and gives patients peace of mind.