Foresight Diagnostics Transforms Standard of Care for Disease Surveillance
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 06/29/2021
Foresight Diagnostics, an emerging leader in blood-based lymphoma disease monitoring, is transforming patient care with groundbreaking cancer surveillance technology. The Foresight team can identify patients that are cured of lymphoma during treatment, eliminating unnecessary chemotherapy and dramatically improving quality of life. Foresight does this by using the world’s most sensitive cancer surveillance technology to detect cancer relapse up to 100 days sooner than current testing methods.
CBSA President and CEO Jennifer Jones Paton asked Jake Chabon, Ph.D., CEO, CSO, and Co-Founder of Foresight Diagnostics, CBSA’s Key Questions for Life Sciences Innovators.
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Q: Tell us about your company or organization.
A: We are a cancer diagnostics company and CLIA-registered laboratory located on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. Our goal is to enable better personalized treatment approaches for cancer patients. I founded the company in 2020 along with three Stanford University faculty members who have a long history of developing cutting-edge cancer diagnostic technologies. Over the last year, we have built a world-class team of investors, board members and advisors who are all former life sciences executives and operators.
Q: Describe your team culture. How does your culture shape what your company or organization produces or offers?
A: We are a fast-paced and tight-knit startup that believes in our mission and technology. Seeing how our mission transforms cancer patient treatments for the better gets us out of bed in the morning. We recently emerged from stealth mode when we announced our Series A financing, and this has catalyzed a lot of rapid growth within the organization, as well as an influx of clinical collaborations with pharmaceutical and academic partners. Everyone on our team plays an active and important role within the company.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: We are actively building out our team and developing our company’s culture and identity. We have a number of projects underway to generate data that illustrates why the improved performance of our assay will likely translate into improved outcomes for patients. Initial steps include validating our testing workflow in a CLIA laboratory and testing large patient cohorts for publications and future regulatory filings. We are also pursuing strategic partnerships with collaborators to design prospective minimal residual disease (MRD)-driven clinical trials.
Q: How will your work save or change lives?
Our test has a major impact on a patient’s experience with their disease. If a patient is cured as a result of therapy, a negative test would provide peace of mind and could enable physicians to withhold additional, unnecessary treatments. If a patient is not cured, their physician will now have actionable data that allows them to start another line of treatment sooner, when the patient has a lower cancer burden and is more likely to respond positively to treatment. We believe that Foresight’s testing platform will become the future standard of care for disease surveillance, and that it will enable more effective personalized treatment strategies for cancer patients.
Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your company or organization?
A: We started our company right at the beginning of the pandemic. This posed certain challenges related to fundraising, leasing laboratory and office space, and hiring. While we’ve overcome all of these initial hurdles, it taught us to be more flexible with our employees and enable remote working arrangements.
Q: CBSA champions a collaborative life sciences ecosystem because we are #stongertogether. How has being an active participant in our life sciences community supported your success?
A: We are dedicated to making Foresight a Colorado-based company and the support from CBSA has helped us achieve that. CBSA has made several valuable introductions to individuals in the region who have been more than willing to mentor and advise our company. This support has proved very useful in building our team and network. Colorado’s life sciences ecosystem is extremely welcoming and supportive of our company.
The entire leadership team at Fitzsimons Innovation Community have been great advocates for us, and I can’t speak highly enough about the community and culture at this one-of-a-kind facility. This is the only place in the region where we have access to the type of laboratory space and resources that we need.
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Thank you to our sponsor: