SimpliGene is the world’s first non-invasive early stage Lung Cancer innovative detection method recently created by a 15-year-old student, Nick Arjomand. The test is less expensive than market standard thanks to NextGen and the application can be used for potentially all cancers and is likely much more accurate due to an innovative method.
SimpliGene is also currently filed under U.S Patent Law and Arjomand is currently working with several groups to get the screening into the market.
“When I originally created this screening I was laughed at not because of the screening idea but because supposedly I was too young and inexperienced. But I never gave up and fought for the screening with every last breath and slowly more opportunities started to appear and this screening is gaining closer to it’s potential of saving millions of lives, where every time I was about to give up fueled me to keep on going,” remarks Arjomand.
The story of SimpliGene is as much the story of Arjomand and how it helped him grow as a human, and now he thinks it is time to show the world that not only is it a new advancement to cancer and diagnostics but to show them that a more diverse biotech and oncology industry is on the way and he is at the forefront to create a more efficient and ethical industry.
I sat down with Nick to find out more:
How did you come up with this new screening process?
How I came up with SimpliGene was that originally I was researching a phenomenon that was found in many early stages 1 NSCLC called “nail clubbing” which was triggered by mutations in the gene 15-HPGD. However, the percentage of people that had the phenomena was quite low, so this led me to believe that potentially a much higher percentage of cancer patients had silent mutations in this gene, and led to create the concept known as a “bi-product mutation”, in which rather targeting the mutations in the gene that would cause the cancer, it would target genes that were mutated by the cancer, giving it a much higher likelihood of more accurate results for it was a bi-product, meaning that regardless of the cancer it would appear in some shape or form, in this gene and likely many others. But there was still one piece of the puzzle missing, why did the early stage cancer trigger such mutations? For many months I was stumped until one day I discovered an article online, which cited oxygen related mutations in hypoxia(a medical condition). Eager to learn more, I quickly discovered another study that cited that Cancer Cells in practically ALL cancers took up MORE oxygen. This was my Eureka Moment, and I was able to connect the dots between the two, that bi-product mutations were caused by oxygen deprivation taken from cancer cells, at least for 15-HPGD, which had a surefire connection due to the nature of the lung, which serves as a passage of oxygen. So quickly I was able to put together by using any sequencing technique and collection method and identifying these mutations, it likely would be able to identify early stage NSCLC and many other cancers and diseases, and could be used for many different processes, and potentially save millions of lives. But, I needed a name? Nail Screening? No. CancerScReeN? No. SimpleGene? SimpliGene! The perfect name for a process that had just revolutionized the entire genetics, biotech, and oncology market, and unlike CRISPR or SELVA it was non-invasive making it the most useful and potent! While this was the scientific reason I created SimpliGene, the moral reason was that too many people were dying, due to their reliance of an industry that needed to change, and just like the tech industry I wanted to pioneer something that the world could use on a large scale, and give back lives to millions of people who have died from these diseases.
Why is the time important now for this type of screening?
Now more than ever is it important to have this type of screening, for the diagnostic and biotech industry have become over reliant on their own processes and work, stubbing any real innovation for a very long time hence taking away millions of lives in the process, and making it more and more unaffordable for it’s clients. Why now is the best time, is that SimpliGene can be used as a beacon of light of how the biotech and oncology industry could evolve too, a innovative, cheap, and life-saving diagnostic process, that’s use can be expanded in many directions, sort of how the tech industry evolved too. In addition why now is the right time, is due to the fact that since it’s background and creator was young and more diverse, this will make it much more appealing to consumers that change and the future of biotech is on the way and is hopeful
Tell us about your background leading up to your interest in this?
Many members of my family are related to the biotech industry or work in the biotech industry, so for my whole life I have grown up in this industry, I have seen the workings of this industry close up, giving me a lot of knowledge on how to work on what I do. In addition, I felt that these “kids” in the media who have appeared in the media with some medical innovation would turn out fake or heavily fabricated, which made me want to push out and create something TRULY revolutionary in the biotech industry, and would save lives not just for some petty scholarship.
How does this screening process differ in past processes?
As mentioned above what this screening targets is different than conventional cancer-screening processes, for it identifies “bi-product mutations” in 15-HPGD(and other genes) which are caused by a deficiency in oxygen created by the lung cancer cancer cells, and which can be expanded to other genes, cancers, and other diseases.
Where do you see this type of screening being done in the future?
Since this screening is non-invasive, cheap, and compatible with most pharmaceutical sequencing technologies it could easily be inputted and licensed into companies such as CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid for any consumer that wishes to know the status of their potential lung cancer(and other diseases potentially too). In addition large Biotech and Oncology companies such as Amgen, Pfizer, Gilead, and Merck and small research companies too will likely want to license this product for research on their technologies and create new uses for it, which are compatible with their technology. Finally, this likely could be licensed to large insurance companies who want to spend less on their consumer medical costs, so they will likely create new plans and insurance benefits to save on cost and gain more traction by using a more affordable technology.
What about costs for this new screening process versus the previous screening types?
The cost to sequence the whole genome currently sits around 3,000 using most NexGen technologies at a 99.9 accuracy rate. The cost of sequencing and identifying mutations in ONE gene will cost around 0.15-0.85, thanks to modern technology advancements and data recognition. Also, thanks to the fact that screening sample can either be saliva or nail clipping sample, the cost of storage will be much cheaper and likely total costs will amount to <5.00 per screening, making it much cheaper than market average, and allowing HUGE markup potential!
Why do you think this has not been done before?
This has never been done before likely due to the fact, that the biotech industry has long discouraged innovators from actually creating their own creations, rather resorting to extensions of what the biotech industry has created and deems innovative!
What went into research and preparing the papers to support your new screening process?
I spoke with multiple professors from UCLA, Stanford, and USC who helped the paper to make it more compatible with modern medical standards. In addition I used sites such as PubMED NIH Archives, and some data that a few companies and university labs let me use to support some of my claims. Finally, I edited multiple times my paper and created a brainstorm section at the bottom to better channel my ideas and thoughts.
What did you have to take into account as you put it all together?
That what I was doing was valuable so I needed a patent to make this thing a possibility. In addition I felt as if I had a moral responsibility to help the millions that could do in the future, gain their lives back, and that it was my destiny to do such.
What is your ultimate goal in getting this new screening process technique out to the public?
My ultimate goal is three things. 1. Giving lives back that would not have been taken away had SimpliGene not been created, and two creating an expandable and affordable healthcare system based off of it. Finally, to be the initiator of a new biotech industry that is more diverse.
What do you see in your future for other discoveries you are interested in?
Well this is not only my only creation, I have also created (partially coded) a innovative video streaming and audio streaming site called PLATFORM which I hope to level it up (It already has received some angel investments), after SimpliGene becomes a success. In addition, I am excited in my future to potentially research nuclear energy and how that can be used from Space Launches to car manufacturing, and to create a more sustainable shopping and consumer company.
What are your other interests in this same field?
I am quite interested in CRISPR and SELVA and I believe they are both compatible with SimpliGene. In addition, I am very interested in CAR-T Cell Therapy and where that goes, and finally immortal cells such as Henrietta lacks to see the potential in those. Those are definitely some of my other interests in the field.