insightscare Interview: BioMark Diagnostics Inc: Innovating Cancer Detection

BioMark Diagnostics Inc: Innovating Cancer Detection

From the interview originally published by insightscare

Rashid A Bux | CEO and Founder | BioMark Diagnostics Inc

A dynamic field like diagnostics requires efficient technologies for detecting diseases and critical illnesses. One organization that stands out with its innovative solutions in pursuit of this universal mission is BioMark Diagnostics Inc

It is an oncology-focused company that provides early-stage cancer detection, monitoring, and screening solutions for hard-to-detect cancers using liquid biopsy. It uses metabolomic fingerprinting to detect early-stage cancer.

Rashid BuxFounder and CEO at BioMark, holds a unique blend of scientific and business expertise. Leading the company since 2013 he has been instrumental in the development and commercialization of BioMark’s technology.

We at Insights Care spoke with Rashid to learn more about BioMark and how it stands apart from other organizations:

Briefly introduce yourself and share a few significant details about your professional tenure.

My name is Rashid Bux. I grew up in Kenya, East Africa where I attended Nairobi University prior to going to North America to advance and complete my education. I have both a scientific and business orientation which comes in handy, especially navigating in the biotechnology space. Early in my career I developed and ran a sustainable energy enterprise called Homeworks and later launched the Earth Advantage Brand at Portland General Electric. These ventures were focused on encouraging and facilitating energy efficiency and conservation on a broad scale leveraging utilities (Gas and Electric); retail (Home Depot), Banks (non-secured financing for consumers to upgrade/retrofit their homes.

What inspired me to venture into biotech?

Cancer has impacted my family directly. My oldest brother died of lung cancer because it was detected at a late stage. He was a mechanic and a smoker and served in the army for a few years before working for a car company, which most likely contributed to his condition. He passed away in 2011. My elder sister died of cervical cancer in England in 2007. My younger sister’s breast cancer metastasized to her brain. She passed away last July after undergoing treatment in London, England. My family friend has a daughter, age 25, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Kenya like many developing nations access to quality health care is a challenge. Developing an affordable minimally invasive and accurate test could be a game-changer in communities that have large disparities in healthcare provisioning.

Give a brief overview of your organization.

BioMark is a North American life sciences company that has developed a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy platform for the early detection of hard-to-detect and treat cancers such as lung, pancreatic and brain (GBM). We are developing the next generation of molecular diagnostic solutions using biomarkers and incorporating machine learning algorithms. Our customers include lab operators, hospitals that have operating labs, and community hospitals that are under-resourced.

What are its mission and vision statements?

Our driving purpose is to work with a network of biopharma partners, clinicians, lab operators, multi-disciplinary research, data scientists and regulators to help conquer cancer. Cancer is a global and complex disease that requires a concerted effort to truly reduce incidence rates, better manage the disease, and finally eradicate it.

What are some of the unique aspects that set your organization apart from other biotech companies?

  • Excellent Diagnostic Confidence

The accuracy of our assays provides excellent diagnostic confidence. In addition, the metabolic-based signatures our tests can detect cancers before patients show symptoms. This literally translates to early interventions, improving survival rates significantly.

  • Cost efficiency

BioMark’s platform leverages high-throughput systems with robotic sample handling capabilities, making mass-scale screening viable without compromising accuracy or speed.

  1. Invest and build high payoff capabilities/platforms to drive diagnostic breakthroughs.
  2. Support sustainable development goals related to climate change impact on health – SDG3.4.
  3. Offer scalable solutions – that overcome challenges such as geography, distribution, and economies of scale to create impactful, timely, and equitable solutions.
  4. Be a proactive health provider – reduce the likelihood that people become patients and create new capabilities to detect and characterize disease risk to promote viable treatment options.
  5. Building resiliency in healthcare systems to ensure effective healthcare delivery; Better weather crises from molecular to societal crises; achieve outcomes that enhance health and well-being.

BioMark’s technology is revolutionizing cancer management through:

  • Early Detection: By utilizing cutting-edge technology, BioMark enables the early detection of cancer markers, providing clinicians with crucial information for timely intervention.
  • Precision Medicine: Our tools offer precise molecular profiling, allowing for tailored treatment plans that maximize efficacy and minimize side effects.
  • Serial Monitoring: BioMark’s solutions provide monitoring of cancer progression, offering both patients and healthcare providers invaluable insights for proactive decision-making.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Through advanced analytics and AI, BioMark translates complex data into actionable insights, empowering healthcare professionals with evidence-based strategies.
  • Help reduce diagnosis to treatment time in cancer management.
  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Ultimately, BioMark’s tools lead to improved patient outcomes, enhancing both the quality and length of life for those battling cancer.

What role is your organization playing in shaping Canada’s biotech landscape?

  • Disrupting the cancer diagnosis and management paradigm by investing in right technologies, building a dynamic team with a customer empathy culture, willingness to adopt new technologies, and grit to reach the endpoint.
  • Building a resilient and agile organization that can help deliver exceptional cancer diagnostic e solutions to underserved and resource-challenged communities.
  • Encouraging a Pan-Canadian collaboration across multiple disciplines.
  • Building and showcasing our solutions with leading institutions and clinicians to facilitate faster adoption of our diagnostic technology platform.
  • Partnering with leading biopharma partners such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer demonstrate that Canada offers a favorable investment environment for innovation and R&D in biotechnology. We are on target to complete a 4,000 multimodal early lung cancer study involving 7 hospitals across Quebec, IUCPQ, Pfizer and AstraZeneca by the end of Q4.
  • Fostering and developing research and business collaborations with leading institutions across the US.

How does the company stay updated with the latest biotechnological advancements?

  • Reading Leading Journal
  • Presenting at leading Oncology-focused seminars and symposiums such as ASCO; USCAP; San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium etc
  • Publishing in journals and keeping in touch with editors.
  • Being part of patient advocacy groups
  • Being members of oncology associations
  • GenomeWeb
  • 360Dx
  • Presenting and meeting investors and companies at biotech events
  • com
  • Wallstreet – health and technologies
  • Monthly internal meetings – market scan sessions
  • Talking to biopharma partners – understanding their pipeline challenges

What are some of the most significant challenges that your organization has faced and what strategies have helped in navigating them?

  • Being black (minority) has been a challenge to raise capital in both the US and Canada despite all the talk of levelling the economic playing field. I have been fortunate to have patient individual investors over the years. The lack of sufficient capital slowed our commercialization velocity and reduced our scale-up aspirations. My advisory board members are busy trying to open investor doors for the company.
  • As we plan to launch our early lung detection blood-based assay in Q4 of this year we believe there will be many folks who might have a renewed interest in investing in our company.

What advice would you give to budding professionals who wish to venture into this dynamic industry?

Have patience, courage, and be prepared for a long journey.

Build a vibrant network, especially for capital raising and knowledge sharing.

Remain curious and develop a culture of experimentation.

Finally, harness technology to enhance your core business.

What vision do you hold for the future of your organization in the coming years?

A fully integrated Omics diagnostic company with advanced analytics capabilities that offers dynamic cancer management solutions on a global basis.

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BioMark Diagnostics Inc.
FSE: 20B

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© 2024 BioMark Diagnostics Inc. All Rights Reserved. BioMark’s mission is to provide universal access to a new paradigm in cancer diagnostics using metabolomics.