The global pandemic made the past year challenging in so many ways. But it’s important not to lose sight of the progress that was made in other areas despite the hardship. Earlier this month, Fast Company announced its World Changing Ideas awards that highlight the individuals and organizations working on innovative solutions to global problems. It was a timely reminder that no obstacle is unsurmountable with the right mix of brain power and dedication.
We’re very excited that Earli was recognized in Fast Company’s “Health” category. It was selected from a pool of more than 4,000 award candidates as one of just five companies working on cancer and the only company focused on early cancer detection.
Over the course of a lifetime, the risk that you will develop some type of cancer is about 40%. One-third of those diagnosed will die from it. Early detection is by far the most effective way to reduce cancer mortality. Recent research from the American Cancer Society shows five-year survival rates that are 4 to 16 times higher for the most deadly cancers if the diagnosis occurs when the cancer is still local (Stage I) instead of distant (Stage IV).
A high percentage of cancer patients are diagnosed in a late stage of the disease, even though the first cancer cells may have appeared in their body years or even decades earlier. But even if the cancer is detected early with new liquid biopsies, the tumor may be too small to image and localize. In other instances, conventional imaging techniques such as low-dose CT may reveal a small tumor, but its malignancy is ambiguous. The patient is left to worry about having cancer and is asked to come back in 6-12 months to see if the tumor has grown. That wastes valuable time while the tumor still has few mutations, which makes it much easier to treat. We’re working to change that.
Earli’s Synthetic Biopsy technology is designed to enlist the body’s cellular machinery in the fight against cancer. It forces cancer cells to produce synthetic biomarkers to make themselves visible. We effectively turn cancer cells into beacons that can be easily detected with existing imaging methods and laboratory analyses. Once this previously undetectable cluster of cancer cells is identified, it can be treated with precision therapies before it mutates or metastasizes.
Our goal is to make cancer a benign experience. We get there by being early.