Abcodia has announced an initiative to license access to serum samples from its unique longitudinal serum biobank for use in discovery and validation of biomarkers for haematological cancers. This unparalleled resource, believed to be the largest longitudinal collection of its kind, can substantially reduce the time to market and cost of R&D.
Haematological cancers are a diverse group of diseases but represent the 5th most common cancer and 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the US. Longitudinal samples from a population-sized cohort of the same individuals provide the best chance of discovering new biomarkers and assessing disease progression to allow early disease detection and intervention, and to better target clinical trials for therapeutics.
The samples were donated by over 200,000 women, 50,000 of whom provided samples annually over 10 years as part of the UK Collaborative Trial in Ovarian Cancer Screening - the bank now holds over 5 million samples, of which around 3.5 million are from the volunteers that donated annually.
Abcodia can provide access to this large cohort of pre- and post-diagnosis cases across the full spectrum of haematological cancers, including lymphoma, multiple myeloma, acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). We also hold pre-disease-stage cases, such as myelodysplastic syndrome ahead of AML, for studies into disease formation. In addition, the samples are annotated with a range of demographic data for each volunteer and relevant clinical data can be obtained according to the study's requirements..
In addition to our disease cases, a significant pool of healthy controls allows for detailed case-control matching on age, smoking, alcohol consumption and or other demographic factors. Controls can easily be matched to include or exclude confounding diseases with the knowledge that all of the samples have been collected to a standard protocol which minimises variability.
The funding is from the phase-1 grants within the SME Instrument of the EC's new Horizon 2020 scheme, which supports the formation of business and development plans of innovative SMEs. There were 208 applications within the call for Clinical Research for the Validation of Diagnostics Devices and Biomarkers. Of these, only 24 were selected for funding and Abcodia was one of only six successful companies based in the UK.
Abcodia's collaborative business model can substantially de-risk the biomarker validation process for its partners throughout the research and development process.