Moncton, NB – The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) is mobilizing its team to help in the global fight against COVID-19. ACRI hopes to contribute in the efforts by applying its technologies to develop a simpler diagnostic test and to use liquid biopsy as a means to predict host response to the virus.

Current testing for COVID-19 is completed using a nasopharyngeal (nasal) swab administered by a health professional, which can create an unnecessary risk for healthy people.

“We have research scientists from around the world that work here in New Brunswick,” said Dr. Rodney Ouellette, President and Scientific Director at ACRI. “We are using our expertise developed for cancer to contribute to the fight against the global pandemic and evaluating the feasibility of a self-sampling method that relies on saliva collection for a COVID-19 assay while also examining COVID-19 detection in plasma.”

A saliva-based assay was recently approved by the FDA for COVID-19 testing and ACRI will investigate the potential benefits of enriching viral material from saliva samples using their liquid biopsy assays.

Dr. Ouellette added, “A second stream of our research is trying to determine which patients will develop worse symptoms with COVID-19 and which will have a more favorable course. This approach may also provide a means to evaluate how patients may respond to experimental therapies.”

Early identification of high-risk patients would allow better allocation of limited resources and care for patients. Research being conducted at the ACRI will evaluate the feasibility of using a liquid biopsy approach to identify plasma biomarkers that are predictive of outcome and therapeutic response.

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute is working to secure research funding made available by provincial and federal agencies to combat the pandemic.

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute is a private, not-for-profit research organisation created in 1998 and located at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton, NB, Canada. Unique to the region and operating a modern biomedical research laboratory, this team of scientific experts is striving to innovate by accelerating its understanding of cancer, thus paving the way to better diagnosis, more accurate patient stratification and drug discovery.

For over 20 years the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) has been a leader in innovative research working to find cures for cancer.

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Atlantic Cancer Research Institute 
Pavillon Hôtel-Dieu
35, Providence Street
Moncton, NB E1C 8X3 Canada
Tel.: 506-862-7512
Fax.: 506-862-7571

The Atlantic Cancer Research Institute

 (ACRI) is a non-profit organization founded in late 1998 and housed at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton. Thanks to its unique expertise, ACRI has become a true centre of excellence in cancer research.


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