Cellia Science was formed in 2021 to develop and commercialize blood cell analyzers that provide rapid, actionable blood cell counts at the point of care. The foundation of Cellia’s blood cell analyzer is based on label-free deep-UV imaging technology exclusively licensed from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. The Company’s lead device will provide neutrophil and platelet counts for chemotherapy patients at risk of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia. Follow-on versions of the technology will be applied to additional diseases with significant unmet need.
The Problem: Currently, blood cell differential assays rely on highly complex equipment in Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified labs. These instruments operate based on impedance and light-scattering measurements, with manual evaluation of peripheral blood smears performed if necessary. This laboratory testing path is widely accepted and considered to be the gold standard; however, these labs rely on complex workflows involving multiple reagents, extensive instrument calibration and maintenance, and operation by highly trained personnel. This results in long turn-around times that delay administration of critical treatments, such as chemotherapy, anti-psychotic medications, and blood transfusions.
The Solution: Cellia is developing a blood cell analyzer that will be CLIA-waived and used at the point-of-care by any medical technician. The analyzer will provide both neutrophil and platelet counts—the key parameters that oncologists need to guide treatment decisions. This device utilizes the inherent absorption of UV light by biomolecules within cells to generate high quality, label-free images. The use of low wavelength light and the direct detection of biomolecules enables better resolution than the traditional method of staining with Giemsa or similar dyes. While the initial device will be targeted for detection of neutropenia and thrombocytopenia in patients undergoing chemotherapy, this technology can be extended for use in any blood cell analysis application.
Market Opportunity: The global hematology analysis market is approximately $50B, with hematology analyzers and reagents making up about 15% of the market. North America is the largest market for hematology analyzers. Blood cell differentials specifically for patients at risk of neutropenia or thrombocytopenia represent a significant market opportunity, with about 20M tests annually in the US, for a total addressable market of $320M. Sales of this device would be targeted to the 1700 nationwide oncology practices. Application of the deep-UV imaging technology to other blood cell analysis opportunities will allow Cellia to address additional segments of the hematology analysis market. In addition, Cellia’s technology is well-positioned for use in the growing “convenient care” clinical market, which prioritize low-maintenance devices that can be operated with minimal training in retail pharmacies. The simplicity of this device also offers the potential to expand into home-use by patients as instrument costs are reduced.
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