IMMray™ PanCan-d development
From the very beginning our hypothesis has been that blood contains enough information to detect any disease, even at early stages. So we set out to descipher the complex information that is available in the blood of thousands of pancreatic cancer patients – in search of a unique identifier, or fingerprint, for this terrible disease.
We hoped to address one of the most important unmet clinical needs in cancer diagnostics today: the early diagnosis of high-risk hereditory pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic individuals, while the disease is still treatable.
Our first project, IMMray™ PanCan-d was born.
The IMMray™ platform and approach
Our unique platform – IMMray™ – is an antibody-based technology that permits us to get a snapshot of what is going on in the body of an unhealthy individual. Think of it as an overview of the immune system response – or a biomarker fingerprint that is very specific to any particular disease.
But IMMray™ is more than a technology platform, it is a systematic approach to finding the most clinically relevant changes that appear in the blood of an unhealthy person, and combining this knowledge into a “disease fingerprint”.
To find the biomarker fingerprint, we first train the IMMray™ platform software to recognize the immune system response in the unhealthy patients, separating them from the controls. We do this by investigating the blood of previously diagnosed patients (retrospective studies) and by asking the system several questions: Which protein biomarkers are relevant for detecting this disease? Are there any changes to the protein levels in the blood that is relevant to this disease? How can these changes help us in detecting patients?
Tests for all relevant biomarkers are placed on a single microarray and a series of very complex algorithms are used to test which combination of biomarkers that best identifies the disease. In this way training the system until it is able to identify unhealthy individuals with the best possible accuracy.
Once the training of the system is complete and the retrospective studies are finalized, the biomarker signature is confirmed through prospective studies in our partner clinics and hospital.
The development of IMMray™ PanCan-d
In the case of IMMray™ PanCan-d we started out with 2,650 patients and over 400 possible biomarkers. After training the system, comparing the result of different combinations of biomarkers in our software, we ended up with a set of about 30 relevant biomarkers, that together provide a 98% accuracy for detecting pancreatic cancer (according to retrospective studies).
Even more importantly, a 96% accuracy could be demonstrated in asymptomatic stage I and II pancreatic cancer patients.
Prospective validation studies with high risk groups are currently ongoing in cooperation with some of the worlds most renowned clinics.
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