University of Michigan-Based Startup Helps Identify Patients At Risk for Hereditary Cancers

Jul 3, 2019 | Cancer, Detection, Diagnosis

Cancer Detection

InheRET, a University of Michigan-based startup, has launched an online program to help identify patients at risk for hereditary cancer without a visit to the doctor.

The Problem

More than 90% of Americans at increased risk for familial cancers remain unidentified until post diagnosis. For some common and treacherous forms of cancer such as colon, rectal, breast and ovarian cancers, high-risk individuals could reduce their cancer risk by as much as 95% if identified prior to cancer onset.

The Startup

An Ann Arbor-based startup has developed software that is based on the work of the University of Michigan and Rogel Cancer Center.  The professors include:

  • David Keren, Clinical professor of pathology
  • Sofia Merajver, professor of internal medicine
  • Lee Schroeder, assistant professor of pathology
  • Lynn McCain, senior project manager in pathology
  • Kara Milliron, genetic counselor
  • Tested at Michigan Medicine

The cancer risk evaluation program was tested in a pilot at Michigan Medicine, where nearly 500 patients have completed the health history form.  The program is now available to the public and to health care facilities on a subscription basis.

The IP

The technology was licensed by the U-M Tech Transfer group.  Bryce Pilz, director of licensing for U-M Tech Transfer, noted “It’s amazing the progress that the InheRET team has made since launching the company this past December.”  He continued, “In just six months time, they’ve launched the hereditary risk assessment tool and are making a positive difference in the lives of people, and that’s incredibly gratifying to see.”