Miso Chip guides cancer patients to the therapy that works best for them
by Startup Montréal 3 June 2023
This article was initially published in French on infobref.com
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy are likely to have positive effects on sufferers. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, a patient has to try more than one treatment before seeing an improvement in their condition. Montreal-based start-up Miso Chip has designed a test that can determine which treatment is best for each patient, depending on the type of cancer they have.
The problem the company is tackling is the difficulty of predicting the effectiveness of a treatment on a patient. “Cancer treatments are chosen based on a population and statistical approach to their efficacy,” explains Miso Chip CEO and co-founder Étienne Laurent.
The treatments chosen have a good chance of improving the patient’s condition. But in some cases, they have no effect at all, says the entrepreneur. He gives the example of ovarian cancer, for which chemotherapy does not work for around 20% of patients.
The administration of an ineffective treatment has 2 harmful consequences: it reduces the chances of cure, because a cancer is more likely to be cured if it is treated quickly with an effective therapy and it is expensive for the healthcare system: chemotherapy can cost $45,000 per patient.
Miso Chip’s solution is a predictive test of a patient’s treatment efficacy. The company has designed a microfluidic device that enables ex vivo culture – outside the human body – of tumor micro-samples taken from a patient.
This device enables several treatments to be tested to see which is most successful in stopping the growth of cancer cells. The results obtained help the doctor to choose the most appropriate treatment between the different types of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. The testing process takes up to 15 days.
The business model will be to sell predictive test kits to hospitals and diagnostic laboratories. Initially, Miso Chip will test the samples itself in its own laboratory, while it completes its clinical trials. In parallel, the company wants to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies. It is currently testing its product as part of a pilot project with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (Chum).
Miso Chip is one of 20 start-ups selected this year in Startup Montréal’s Bourse+ program.
The start-up plans to close a second round of financing this year. The first round raised $600,000.
In the longer term, they wants to launch the commercialization of its product and sign agreements with pharmaceutical companies to use its device to test drugs used in cancer treatment.
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