What is ITOS?
Cancer is a genomic disease and is caused by specific alterations in the DNA within normal cells. ITOS is a molecular diagnostic company that identifies specific mutations in individual cancers. Cancer treatment works best when specific alterations in the DNA are identified and targeted with specific drugs in individual cancer patients. Matching the right drug to the right target in the right patient is critical for a good outcome in cancer patients.
What products/services do you provide?
At ITOS, we extract DNA from the cancer patient’s biopsy material and identify specific changes in the DNA using cutting edge sequencing technology. We then share this information with oncologists who can tailor their treatment to individual cancer patients. This approach has been shown to be significantly better in comparison with the conventional organ based treatment. ITOS also performs genetic tests to identify risk factors associated with various cancers such as breast cancer.
Anything new and exciting happening within your company?
In collaboration with the members of Windsor Cancer Research Group (WCRG), ITOS is leading a multidisciplinary research study using bladder cancer patient samples to identify a genetic signature that would predict the progression of cancer in these patients. ITOS is also working on leading a clinical trial based on genomic profiling of myeloid malignancies. ITOS is working on several projects involving the cancer researchers from the University of Windsor as well as the Windsor regional cancer center. ITOS has multiple international projects in sight as well.
How did you come up with your company name?
The name ITOS stands for Its The Oncogene Signature where the Oncogenes are the genes that can cause cancer when the specific DNA sequence within them is altered. The idea is that we have to look at the Oncogene signature to be able to effectively treat cancer. This name was recommended by my former mentor and chief scientific advisor for my company, Dr. Stephen P. Ethier. Dr. Ethier is a leading expert in the field of oncogene detection and has contributed immensely to the field. Dr. Ethier is currently also the Director of the Center for Genomic Medicine at Medical University of South Carolina.
Where can people find you?
1453 Prince Road
Windsor, Ontario N9C 3Z4
How has WEtech Alliance supported your business to date?
Looking into your company’s future, what are you most enthusiastic about?
Cancer is among the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Scientific breakthroughs and technological advances in cancer continue to identify effective treatment options. Over 14 million people around the globe get diagnosed with cancer every year and over 8.5 million people succumb to the disease. Global cancer patient population demands a dynamic molecular genetic profiling laboratory specialized in cancer. The ITOS team has over 60 years of combined experience in cancer research including the field of cancer gene profiling. The company also has a team of oncologists, bioinformatics specialists and business advisors. ITOS is excited to explore the global market to provide rapid and affordable service to the cancer patients starting right here in Windsor, where both the average annual number of newly diagnosed cancers and number of cancer related deaths are significantly above the provincial average.
What excites you most about the local tech community?
Windsor is a great community with very strong academic, clinical and technological collaborative opportunities for ITOS in the form of University of Windsor and Windsor Regional Cancer Center. ITOS has already established several projects with the researchers from the Biological sciences and the department of computer science as well as with the clinicians at the Cancer center.
What ideas do you have to help accelerate our local tech community?
ITOS will create a very strong multidisciplinary team bringing the oncologists, cancer research scientists, bioinformatics experts as well as physicians to develop new technological improvements in the field of cancer detection and treatment.
Anything else you want people to know?
The goal of ITOS Oncology is to bring the wealth of knowledge from scientific breakthroughs in cancer research to the cancer patients in the state-of-the art facility using cutting edge Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology. ITOS will soon start accepting patient samples to perform cancer gene profiling, which will help oncologists tailor personalized treatment in individual patients.