BIOMARK TECHNOLOGY

BioMark’s research is based on the science of metabolomics. Our studies are investigating how metabolomics play a pivotal role in the chances of early cancer detection, in order to improve patient outcomes.
Our research consists of screening for the acetylated form of a drug (called Amantadine) given to patients prior to measurement. This is done via LC MS in body fluids.
This acetylation is performed by the enzyme called Spermine/Spermidine N-Acetyl Transferase (SSAT). It has been documented that elevated levels of SSAT are observed in many cancers including lung, breast, prostate, melanoma and GI cancers.
Clinical trials on patients with cancer, as well as healthy subjects, provided proof of principle. In addition, analysis of SSAT mRNA levels in tissue samples allows determination of cancer type.

Why?

The enzyme is not the biomarker. The biomarker is the product (metabolite) of the enzymatic reaction. An over-expressed enzyme related to cancer will produce many thousands of times more metabolite, thereby exponentially increasing the signal-to- background-noise ratio. The
result is an amplified biomarker that acts like beacon for early detection that no traditional biomarker can match.

BioMark has identified one such enzyme that is over-expressed in most types of cancer cells, therefore giving them the ability to detect many tumors. This enzyme is called spermidine/spermine acetyltransferase (SSAT) and it converts an FDA-approved drug called amantadine into an acetylated form called N-acetylamantadine. N-acetylamantadine is
produced in high amounts in cancer cells and is easily detected in urine in a cost-effective manner.

Current cancer detection assays are limited

Currently, most non-imaging cancer detection assays are validated to detect biomarkers that are over-expressed in cancer cells. A majority of these biomarkers are proteins that have become mutated in cell-signaling pathways or highly expressed on the surface of cancer cells. This approach is powerful, but has its limitations when it comes to detecting cancer at the early stages.

How BioMark’s research is changing the face of cancer detection for the better. This assay can become the front line in cancer detection. During physical examinations, a patient will take a pill containing amantadine (FDA approved and safe) that acts as a smart drug, and after 2-4 hours, submits a urine sample. If the levels of N-acetylamantadine in the urine are elevated above normal levels, traditional methods are then incorporated to specify the location of the cancer.

Can we detect specific types of cancers using metabolomics?

BioMark Diagnostics has expanded their diagnostics pipeline by using metabolomic screening coupled with bioinformatics to identify enzymes that are specific to certain cancers. BioMark partnered with TMIC’s group (Dr. Wishart) to develop high-performance lung cancer metabolic
fingerprints that have shown very solid robustness. The group has revalidated the assay and designed a customized kit based on these high-performance biomarkers.

How BioMark’s research is changing the face of cancer detection for the better. This assay can become the front line in cancer detection. During physical examinations, a patient will take a pill containing amantadine (FDA approved and safe) that acts as a smart drug, and after 2-4 hours, submits a urine sample. If the levels of N-acetylamantadine in the urine are elevated above normal levels, traditional methods are then incorporated to specify the location of the cancer.

Our current focus: Lung cancer

BioMark Diagnostics is currently performing the following studies in the detection and risk assessment of patients with lung cancer:

  • Measuring patient response to treatment following lung cancer resection using our signature metabolites. A high-level protocol has been completed and submission to an Ethics Board is planned. The trail will include about 100 to 130 subjects and the principal investigator will be Dr. James Bond.
  • Measuring early response to chemotherapy treatment for lung cancer patients at CancerCare Manitoba under Dr. Andrew Maksymuik.
  • In a proposed trial, we will aim to identify high-risk patients associated with smoking – proposed trial with Dr. Samantha Kimball and perhaps an oncologist from Alberta
  • Using our technology to increase the uptake of CT scans for individuals at high risk of lung cancer, and also to monitor false negatives after CT scans and biopsy.
  • Increasing our lung cancer samples from 100 patients to 300 patients for TMIC assay optimization through a collaborative multiple party study involving CancerCare Manitoba, Saint Boniface Research Centre and TMIC
  • Building analytics component leveraging IBM’s Bluemix big data platform that can improve predictability of the assay

We strongly believe BioMark’s technology can be disruptive to the diagnostics industry and potentially become an integral frontline defense in early cancer detection, measuring response to treatment and monitoring for early recurrence.

BioMark’s Mission and Market Application

  • MISSION — OUTCOME DRIVEN

  • Develop and commercialize innovative technologies to increase prediction and accuracy in diagnosis of cancers.

  • KEY MARKET APPLICATIONS

  • Response to treatment – Companion Diagnostics[CDX]

  • Monitoring for Cancer Survivors

  • Screening tool for pan cancer

  • Complement other high cost, non specific screening technologies