U.K.-Based Biotech Startup Launches New Liquid Biopsy Technology at ISEV2023

28 Aug 2023

On May 16, 2023, Mursla Bio, a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, launched its tissue-specific extracellular vesicle (EV) isolation technology, known as Nexplor, at the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) annual meeting. This innovative technology opens up new possibilities for biomarker discovery in liquid biopsy and precision medicine.

The worldwide market for EV-based liquid biopsy is currently advancing, primarily due to the growth of academic research and the approval of products in this sector.

According to BIS Research, the global EV-based liquid biopsy market was valued at $78.22 million in 2022 and is anticipated to reach $455.53 million by 2032, witnessing a CAGR of 19.73% during the forecast period 2023-2032.

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Extracellular vesicles play a vital role as they are released by all cells in the body, providing valuable insights into cellular biological activity. These vesicles are conveniently found in biofluids such as blood, offering a promising avenue for non-invasive disease detection and prevention, including applications in cancer research.

However, identifying and extracting tissue-derived EVs from blood is particularly challenging due to their scarcity compared to other EVs circulating simultaneously. In a blood draw, the vast majority of EVs come from blood cells, such as platelets, erythrocytes, or immune cells, while only a small fraction originates from specific tissues, such as the liver, lung, and kidney. Conventional isolation methods fail to distinguish EVs based on their tissue of origin, impeding progress in disease biomarker discovery.

To overcome these obstacles, Mursla Bio developed an innovative and robust technique to isolate tissue-specific EVs from blood. Furthermore, it has devised a workflow to analyze the diverse multi-omics content of these vesicles. During the ISEV2023 event in Seattle, U.S., which was scheduled from May 17 to May 21, 2023, Mursla Bio presented Nexplor and demonstrated how it had been utilized to discover novel liver cancer biomarkers, with a focus on surveillance for high-risk individuals.

Moreover, Nexplor forms part of Mursla Bio's ExoPheno platform, which aims to enhance the translation of EV-based diagnostics into clinical practice. The platform complements its ultrasensitive validation technology, NEXOS, designed to offer high-throughput and clinically compatible in vitro diagnostics tests based on the newly identified panel of tissue-EV biomarkers.

Arsène, the Founder and CEO of Mursla, revealed in a press release that Mursla Bio has initiated a clinical study to deliver its first liquid Pierre Bio biopsy test, with an anticipated completion date by early 2024. Its goal is to launch this EV-based liquid biopsy test in the U.S. in 2025. 

Through the introduction of such EV-based liquid biopsy tests as offered by Mursla Bio, the healthcare industry could envision a transformative future where bodily tissues could be examined at any time without resorting to invasive procedures.

This vision aligns with the principle of liquid biopsy, seeking to move away from the limitations of existing approaches based on circulating free DNA. Such approaches provide only a limited snapshot of cellular activity, as they are not tissue-specific and fail to capture the complexity of biological processes.
Furthermore, by harnessing the potential of Nexplor, Mursla Bio would move ahead in the EV-based liquid biopsy market, significantly impacting how cancer and chronic diseases are managed in the future.

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