UK-based liquid biopsy company Angle has teamed up with biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to customise the former’s Parsortix-based DNA damage response (DDR) assay for use in pharmaceutical research and development (R&D).

The collaboration aims to develop and validate a novel methodology for the detection of micronuclei in circulating tumour cells (CTCs).

Angle will develop the cancer diagnostic methodology based on its DDR assay, which measures the expression of a key protein in the DNA damage response.

The liquid biopsy company will conduct the development activities at its laboratories in Guildford, UK for a development period of six months, and will receive an initial £150,000.

Angle CEO Andrew Newland said: “This is ANGLE’s second large pharma company agreement of 2024 as we look to drive a significant expansion of the pharma services business.

“It demonstrates the importance of CTC analysis and is a validation of Angle’s Parsortix system.

“ANGLE is also working to expand its DDR work with other large pharma customers and continues to generate significant new customer interest through its business development activity.”

Angle said that its DDR assay can be used as a repeatable, minimally invasive option to support the development of cancer therapies targeting tumour-specific DDR dependencies.

The assay can also be used for the monitoring of treatment response to DDR therapies administered in combination with other cancer drugs.

According to the company, the DDR therapeutics market is estimated at $5.9bn in 2022 and is projected to reach $10.4bn by 2031 with a CAGR of 6.5%.

It is expected to be driven by a rise in the use of combination therapy for the treatment of drug-resistant cancers and the need for novel targeted medicines for cancer treatment.

Treatment of patients with a DDR inhibitor, alongside another cancer drug, will help maximise DNA damage and selectively kill cancer cells.

It provides a targeted approach to cancer treatment and is expected to improve patient outcomes across multiple tumour types, said the liquid biopsy company.

Angle chief scientific officer Karen Miller said: “We are delighted that our expertise in CTC assay development continues to make great strides.

“With the increasing investigation of DNA damage response / PARP inhibitors, alone or in combination with chemotherapy or immunotherapy, there is a need for minimally invasive, robust and repeatable DDR assays.

“All the development work continues to add to the menu of assays owned by Angle that we can offer to other customers.”