Using the potential of RNA in body fluids for biomarker development

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Jan Hellemans - CEO, Biogazelle

Short description of the presentation:

RNA biomarkers enable early disease detection, assessment of prognosis, monitoring patient response to therapy or selecting those treatments most likely to be efficacious for a given patient. As such, biomarker discovery is a promising approach toward effective precision medicine, especially when applied to body fluids that allow for minimally invasive testing.
Biogazelle has developed a 7-steps approach covering all aspects from biomarker discovery to validation of qPCR based biomarker tests. RNA sequencing methods were optimized for performance on a clinically relevant low input samples such as serum or FFPE. After data processing by our dedicated Cobra pipeline, advanced statistical modeling is applied to generate a set of candidate biomarker panels. Based on >15 years of experience in qPCR assay design and validation, a qPCR based biomarker test is developed and validated analytically and clinically.
As an example we will show how small RNA sequencing on serum samples was successfully used for the development of a treatment selection biomarker in metastatic prostate cancer.

Biography of the speaker:

Jan Hellemans is the founder and CEO of Biogazelle. He received his training at Ghent University where he obtained a master in Biotechnology and a PhD in Medical Sciences. In this period he developed his research skills in clinical genetics, qPCR, NGS and bio-informatics, leading to 7 grants and >50 publications. These skills were also applied to run a core facility for NGS and genetic diagnostics. In 2007, the results of his research on qPCR data analysis led to the foundation of Biogazelle. As CEO of Biogazelle he evolved the company from its roots in scientific software to a service company with a 5 year CAGR of 70% and active in product development of qPCR assays (e.g. assays for all coding genes in human and 12 model organisms licensed to Bio-Rad) and biomarkers. In 2014 he raised 2M EUR allowing the company to mature its portfolio and to establish a therapeutics research program. In a research collaboration with Ionis pharmaceuticals, Biogazelle is currently developing lncRNA targeting antisense therapies for the treatment of lung, liver and colon cancer.


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