Your Friday crash course: Diagnostic biomarkers are in essence, used to determine whether or not a patient has a medical condition. Biomarkers can be molecular, histologic, radiographic and physiological, examples include heart rate, BMI and x-ray findings.
Proteomics International Laboratories (ASX: PIQ) is taking molecular biomarkers to a whole new level, utilising proprietary biomarkers to test for specific conditions that, until now, have been undetectable by blood tests.
Having already developed the PromarkerD assay, the world’s first test for predicting diabetic kidney disease, PIQ has been working on developing a diagnostic test for another indication- oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
The Company has completed a validation study with Queensland based QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute looking at a simple blood test that utilises a panel of biomarkers to detect the cancer.
Managing Director Dr Richard Lipscombe said: “We’ve been able to identify a select panel of biomarkers with the potential to be used as a diagnostic test. Importantly we have also completed validation of the panel using blood samples from more than 300 patients.”
The study looked at Barrett’s oesophagus, a pre-malignant condition that is considered a significant risk factor for going on to develop oesophageal adenocarcinoma. The condition is caused by acid reflux and affects approximately 2% of the population. Current diagnostic measures include invasive and expensive endoscopies to visualise the damaged area.
PIQ’s study seeks to validate and develop their diagnostic blood test which will ultimately provide adenocarcinoma patients with a safe, non-invasive and cost effective way to gain a diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Study results will be presented at the 27th Lorne Proteomics Symposium, held today in Victoria.
The collaboration between the two entities has been beneficial to PIQ who are undertaking a broader strategy to continually improve and expand their portfolio of diagnostic tools in areas where there is significant unmet need.