(“NetScientific” or the “Group”)
NetScientific teams up with KU Leuven on research programmes in early cancer detection, epigenomic analysis and fiber-optics diagnostics
7th January 2015: NetScientific (AIM: NSCI), the biomedical and healthcare technology group, today announced that it has entered into three research programmes with KU Leuven in Belgium.
The three programmes focus on the early detection of cancer, epigenomic analysis, and fiberoptic diagnostics. Details of each one are given below. The underlying aim of the partnership is to validate the technologies within each programme and accelerate their commercialisation.
Early cancer detection
The first programme is developing an innovative multiplex protein diagnostics solution for the early detection of cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases.
The primary focus is on the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer in blood. KU Leuven has patented a panel of 21 protein biomarkers that can clearly distinguish between healthy people and cancer patients in the earliest stages of the disease.
The longer term aim of the research programme is to reduce the 21 protein diagnostic panel to a minimal panel of about five protein markers.
The next programme is an enzymatic approach to DNA labelling for epigenomic analysis.
Not all cancers are the result of mutations of DNA but rather the effect of chemical compounds that modify or mark the genome in a way that tells it what to do, where to do it and when to do it, or the ‘epigenome’. There is increasing evidence that the epigenome is both a critical indicator and influencer of the progression of cancer in response to many factors including ageing, the environment and diseases.
Epigenomic information is typically difficult and expensive to read-out and as a result there is a pressing need for the development of methodology that streamlines this process. KU Leuven has developed a solution using specially designed cofactor molecules that can be tailored to capture or label DNA and are targeted to specific DNA motifs with the supreme specificity of a selected enzyme.
Fiber optic diagnostics (FOx Dx)
The FOx Dx platform developed at KU Leuven is based on an innovative fiber optic surface plasmon resonance platform. The platform allows researchers to optimise their custom bio-assays and at the same time develop a diagnostic, point-of-care test. It provides a flexible life science research tool to study biomolecular kinetics in high throughput analysis.
Commenting on the three programmes, Farad Azima, CEO of NetScientific said: “These later-stage technologies in diagnostics and genomics have enormous potential and complement our existing biomarker-based diagnostics which address the ‘personalised medicine’ market.”
Paul van Dun, General Manager of KU Leuven R&D, added: “When talking to potential partners for the further development of our technologies, we were impressed by the vision and network of NetScientific. We believe the collaboration with NetScientific creates an optimal setting for turning the technologies into products and services that will benefit society.”
Notes to Editors
NetScientific is a biomedical and healthcare technology group that funds and develops technologies that offer transformative benefits to people’s lives and society through improved diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. For more information, please visit the website at www.NetScientific.net
About KU Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, founded in 1425, is one of the oldest universities in Europe and is a world-leader in life sciences. The research intensive university combines values of high quality innovation with exceptional facilities, which include a network of teaching hospitals. The university has a successful track record in licensing various technologies and novel drug molecules to major companies around the world.
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