Grant will further validate Cernostics’ diagnostic technology for predicting risk of future progression to esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett’s Esophagus


PITTSBURGH, PA. – The National Institutes of Health have awarded Cernostics, a pioneer in delivering deeper tissue insights, a $1.2MM SBIR grant for its lead product, the TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay.


This grant funding will allow Cernostics to further validate their unique TissueCypher™ approach to tissue analysis. Independent clinical validation of this kind supports Cernostics’ commercialization efforts, since the research will validate the ability of the TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay to predict future risk of progression to esophageal cancer within a multi-institutional cohort of patients with clinical outcome data.


The TissueCypher™ Image Analysis Platform delivers next generation anatomic pathology analysis by providing deeper interrogation of tissue biopsies to identify multiple molecular and cellular abnormalities that precede structural changes within tissues, including stromal changes, enabling early detection of malignant progression.


Most current diagnostic approaches are limited in the way that they view cancer progression. TissueCypher™ evaluates tissue biopsies by utilizing digital whole slide imaging technology and provides physicians and patients with individualized, actionable scores indicating diagnosis, prognosis, or response to therapy.


“Our TissueCypher™ platform provides deeper and more complete understanding of the cellular and molecular changes taking place within the esophageal tissue of patients with Barrett’s Esophagus. This will lead to improved decision making for physicians to manage care for patients with Barrett’s Esophagus and reflux disease,” stated Mike Hoerres, CEO Cernostics. “This funding from the National Institutes of Health validates the technology approach of our advanced diagnostic tools to increase accuracy in the prediction of Barrett’s progression to esophageal cancer, helping eliminate uncertainty, and providing reassuring, actionable information to doctors and patients to improve outcomes.”


Key collaborators on the grant include gastroenterologists, pathologists and researchers from the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh, who collectively evaluate thousands of patients with Barrett’s esophagus each year as part of endoscopic surveillance programs.


An accurate way to predict future risk of progression to Esophageal Cancer

With the deeper tissue insights derived from its patented technology platform, Cernostics’ TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay fills the need for greater accuracy in predicting progression to cancer for patients with Barrett’s esophagus. The platform provides information not evident by standard anatomic pathology methods.


Key features include:

  • Digital, whole slide imaging technology
  • Simultaneous evaluation of multiple tumor stromal processes, including the immune system, on a single tissue slide;
  • Automated, objective and quantitative measurement of multiple protein biomarkers in the context of tissue structure.


TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay is the lead product of Cernostics’ ground-breaking tissue analysis platform and has broad application and a transferable technology across numerous disease indications.


About Cernostics
Cernostics’ vision is to be the leader in tissue-based diagnostic testing, providing diagnostic tests with deeper tissue insights, better patient outcomes and lower cost of care. Our mission is to quantify the complexity of the tissue system, providing physicians and patients with individualized, actionable information to improve outcomes and reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer.


Cernostics—a Ben Franklin Technology Partners Company– delivers next generation cancer diagnostics and prognostics through an innovative approach to tissue analysis – the evaluation of the tumor as a system composed of multiple interacting cell types, including tumor cells and stromal cells such as immune cells. Its patent-protected technology platform, TissueCypher™, uniquely analyzes whole slide digital images and is designed to provide greater information and accuracy than traditional tissue diagnostics. Cernostics’ lead product, TissueCypher™ Barrett’s Esophagus Assay, will deliver the most comprehensive evaluation of esophageal cancer risk for Barrett’s Esophagus patient’s currently available, providing actionable information to gastroenterologists, pathologists, and the patients themselves. For more information, visit


Originally published October 29, 2015