Image shows a microscopic view of circulating tumor cells.

Photo credit: kjpargeter -

May 10, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY—ARUP Laboratories today announced it has signed a strategic agreement with Massachusetts-based TellBio Inc. to use the development-stage biotechnology company’s TellDx circulating tumor cells (CTCs) technology in several research applications.

ARUP, a national reference laboratory and worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development, also announced that it has invested in TellBio as part of the startup’s series A financing round. Other funding partners include Crocker Ventures, Genetron Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ: GTH), the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and several angel biotechnology investors.

“We are pleased to partner with TellBio in the company’s development and deployment of innovative technologies that hold great promise in advancing personalized medicine in the treatment of cancer,” said Adam Barker, PhD, director of the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology. “We see numerous potential applications that may serve to advance laboratory medicine to the great benefit of patients.”

TellBio’s TellDx technology allows for the isolation of CTCs in liquid biopsies, regardless of cancer type. The company’s TellRx platform leverages proprietary knowledge derived from the study of CTCs to generate novel anticancer drugs. The technology was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital by Daniel Haber, MD, PhD; Mehmet Toner, PhD; David Ting, MD; Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD; and Ravi Kapur, PhD, following decades of academic and clinical research. TellBio holds a worldwide exclusive license to the technology.

Barker said TellDx will be deployed by ARUP researchers at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute. ARUP medical directors are also faculty members of the U’s Department of Pathology; ARUP is a nonprofit enterprise of the university and its Pathology Department.

“We are excited to partner with ARUP, a premier, national reference lab, to enable detection and monitoring of CTCs as part of its ongoing research efforts. This collaboration will help further solidify TellBio’s TellDx diagnostic platform and aims to provide earlier, noninvasive, and real-time monitoring of cancer progression. Additionally, we are pleased with ARUP’s financial contribution to accelerate advancement of TellBio’s platforms,” said Annie Partisano, PharmD, MS, senior vice president and head of operations at TellBio.

About ARUP Laboratories

Founded in 1984, ARUP Laboratories is a national reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to esoteric molecular and genetic assays. ARUP serves clients across the United States, including many of the nation’s top university teaching hospitals and children’s hospitals, as well as multihospital groups, major commercial laboratories, group purchasing organizations, military and other government facilities, and major clinics. In addition, ARUP is a worldwide leader in innovative laboratory research and development, led by the efforts of the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology®. ARUP is ISO 15189 CAP accredited.

About TellBio

TellBio is a development-stage biotechnology company based in Beverly, Massachusetts, with the goal to revolutionize the detection and treatment of cancer through its unique and proprietary circulating tumor cells (CTCs) technology and complementary therapeutics platform, TellDx and TellRx, respectively. TellBio’s vision is to free patients and their families from the tyranny of cancer via both its TellDx and TellRx platforms.

TellDx is a fully functional diagnostic solution aimed at detecting live CTCs from patient liquid biopsies. TellRx is the therapeutics platform that generates novel anticancer medicines by specifically targeting CTCs. The synergy of these platforms offers TellBio a unique opportunity to detect CTCs via a first-in-class, best-in-class microfluidic diagnostic platform and target CTCs with novel therapeutics to improve outcomes of patients with cancer.

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