Nov 13, 2017

C3i’s Biomarker and Diagnostic unit now offers TCR-beta sequencing services

The Center for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i) is proud to announce the availability of T cell receptor-beta sequencing services in its Biomarker and Diagnostic unit.

At any moment in time, the T cell repertoire of an individual constitutes a snapshot of this individual’s health or ongoing internal battles. Clinicians may therefore use T cell repertoire characterization as a biomarker of disease, of response to treatment or even as a tool to detect early events in disease progression.The characterisation of the T cell repertoire has been elusive for several years due to its genetic complexity; the T cell ontogeny leads to the development of more than 10 12 different T cell receptor (TCR) sequences. The breakthrough of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology now allows the analysis of millions of different TCR clones simultaneously, providing for the first time a precise evaluation of the T cell repertoire.

C3i implemented and locally validated a NGS approach for TCR-beta sequencing using the system developed by ThermoFisher on the Ion S5 platform. This long read RNA-based system is capable of sequencing 30-40 million reads in 48hrs. In addition, contrary to most TCR repertoire analysis methodologies that focus only on the CDR3, this sequencing approach also characterizes the two other variable regions within the TCR, CDR1 and CDR2. This additional sequence information in itself increases the resolution in T cell clonotype definition.



TCR sequencing will become crucial to support and accelerate translational research studies, namely to characterize the impact of immunotherapies on TCR repertoire, to identify the clonotype of tumor infiltrating T cells, and to evaluate immune reconstitution. Furthermore, the identification of the exact TCR clone responding to a tumor-specific antigen may lead to the development of novel cellular therapies based on expansion of engineered T-cell with increased specificity.

This new service for the monitoring of T cell repertoire stands at the heart of C3i’s competitive platform for the discovery and monitoring of biomarkers, and represents another step towards C3i’s goal to be a one-stop- shop solution for the development, translation, and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy in Canada.


About C3i

C3i is a recently designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) by the Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) of Canada. Operating out of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont (HMR), C3i aims to accelerate the access of patients to immunotherapies by leveraging the discoveries and performing the translational studies for researchers across the country. For more information on our TCR-beta sequencing service and our Biomarker and Diagnostic unit, please contact Danielle de Verteuil (