ProteinLogic awarded Horizon 2020 grant by the European Commission to develop novel cancer diagnostic tests

A European Consortium of leading academic and clinical partners, including ProteinLogic, a UK based biomarker discovery company, have been awarded a grant by the European Union Horizon 2020 SME program to help harness the diagnostic power of genome sequencing in day-to-day clinical practice.

ProteinLogic are pleased to announce they have been awarded €415,000 by the European Commission, for the development of a new cancer diagnostic test, comprising both genomic and proteomic biomarkers. The funding was awarded as a result of a successful €2.95 million grant application in partnership with five other European Clinical and Academic Collaborators. The ability to sequence the complete genome holds great promise in the prevention and treatment of cancer. However, there are significant challenges in translating genome sequence information into clinical cancer practice. The goal of this project is to integrate genomic data with proteomic data to develop diagnostic tools for better risk assessment and early diagnosis of cancers. The combination of genomic data and proteomic data may also allow the prediction of response to drugs, disease burden, and likelihood of recurrence.

The three year €2.95 million project will expand and integrate ProteinLogic’s unique panel of biomarker proteins with genetic and epigenetic biomarkers selected from the very large public databases as well as biomarkers identified from clinical samples analysed under the program. The project also addresses the full chain of computational and statistical tools that are needed for clinically relevant diagnosis and intervention, including discovery in large cohorts, validation of putative causal sites in model systems and development of targeted cancer-risk panels. The project will deal with critical aspects of how data are collected, stored, organized, integrated, analysed and exploited in cancer genetic clinics. The project aims to provide a concerted, cross-disciplinary framework for better understanding, integration and use of cancer clinical data in the evaluation of the multitude of genetic variants and mutations involved in cancer susceptibility, for the direct benefit of cancer patients. The project will focus on breast cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.

The consortium brings together complementary expertise. It is led by Professor Angel Carracedo who is an international expert in the genetics of Mendelian and complex traits, including pharmacogenomics, as well as in population genetics; and heads the Foundation of Genomic Medicine of Galicia, Spain. Dr Xavier Estivill is the head of the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Unit, University Hospital Quirón Dexeus, Women’s Health Department, Spain. Dexeus is one of the largest private clinics in Europe that is exclusively devoted to women’s health. Dr Aura Carerra is the group leader of the Genotoxic and Stress Unit at the prestigious Curie Institute, France. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory has made many scientific breakthroughs and its London branch, the EMBL-EBI is a hub for bioinformatics research and services, developing and maintaining a large number of scientific databases. Dr Stephan Ossowski heads the Genomic and Epigenomic Variation in Disease group at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, an international biomedical Research Institute of Excellence.

ProteinLogic’s Chairman Mahesh Shah said: “We are delighted that the European Commission is funding this exciting collaboration of European experts in the field of cancer genomics. As the only commercial organisation in the consortium, we hope to contribute both ProteinLogic’s proprietary proteomic know-how as well as lead on any commercial opportunities that might arise from this project.”