• Strategy
  • Payers
  • AI
  • Cybersecurity
  • Device Development
  • Studies/Published Research
  • Ethics
  • Regulatory
  • Digital Biomarkers
  • Data Science
  • Companion Diagnostics
  • Clinical Care
  • Digital Therapeutics
  • Academic Research
  • Virtual Reality
  • RWE
  • Digital Endpoints
  • Medical Devices (Class II and Class III)
  • Commercialization
  • Clinical Trials
  • Drug-Device Combinations
  • SaMD
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Patient Engagement
  • Profiles/Q&A

Q&A With Mark McDonough, CEO of ChromaCode


McDonough speaks with MDT about ChromaCode’s HD PCR technology and the company’s recent expansion to India and the Middle East.

Mark McDonough

Mark McDonough

ChromaCode recently announced that it teamed up with MedGenome to expand its HD PCR technology to India and the Middle East. Mark McDonough, CEO of the genomics multiplexing platform company, spoke with MDT about the HD PCR technology and the benefits of the recent expansion.

(MDT:) How does ChromaCode’s HD PCR tech work?

McDonough: ChromaCode is a company that was incubated out of Caltech. Our founder was at the Caltech and then Google on the genomic side. When you think about HD PCR technology, the thing that really encapsulates it is that it’s high definition PCR, so we’re combining the power of PCR with the ChromaCode cloud. When customers use our assets or we build custom tests for others, we’re going to be able to bridge the gap where PCR falls short and is not comprehensive enough and where next generation sequencing can be too slow, costly, and require too much tissue. We can fill that gap with the HD PCR multiplexing technology and that delivers results to patients faster, require less painful procedures, and cost significantly less.

We have built an NCCN complete assay with 15 biomarkers that assess 200 variants mapping to 32 different therapeutics. In many markets across the world, cost is always important. In India and the Middle East, these are more sensitive topics.

(MDT:) Why did you feel it was important to expand into India and the Middle East?

McDonough: This opportunity came through one of our venture capital partners. They had a relationship with MedGenome, who are our first customer for our lung cancer assay. It really happened through a relationship and it just made sense. MedGenome saw the value of the lung cancer assay. What we were delivering really resonated with the patients that they’re serving in the area and what their needs are.

(MDT:) What made you want to work MedGenome specifically?

McDonough: They’ve really established themselves in India and the Middle East and are well respected. They have large laboratory access and the company ties in well with our values in terms of patient care. We want to offer accessible, fast, and high-quality results that can give people the right treatment at the right time to give them the best chance for a cure. They’re focused on that.

(MDT:) How does the cloud-based platform simplify workflows?

McDonough: Basically, we can enable a lot of the backend reporting capabilities, which can then be done much easier. Reporting can be difficult in terms of sequencing and PCR. At the very heart of what ChromaCode does is that we’re a software engineering and assay manufacturing company. By combining the chemistry and software teams, we can ensure that the process for the customer is as easy as possible. The bottleneck in cancer results is often the bioinformatics part, and we want to use our complexity here to simplify it back to the laboratory partners.

(MDT:) Can this be used for other conditions?

McDonough: Our first application is lung cancer, but we have applications in the works for transplants and cell and tumor testing. Lung cancer is an entry into the genomic space for us to build a highly complex assay. We’re also building custom assays for customers.

There are multiple vectors where the technology can help people. Historically, it worked with infectious diseases and now we’re very focused on genomics.

If you look at just cancer, for example, we see a huge opportunity in therapy selection where our lung cancer assay is our first foray into that. We see an opportunity for patient monitoring and we’re doing proof-of-concept work there, along with minimal-residual disease.

We’re also seriously considering using the platform for transplants, but that’s still very early stage.

© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.