BARD1 Life Sciences (ASX: BD1) has unveiled “outstanding” preliminary test results showing its licenced SubB2M technology was a 100% specific in detecting all stages of ovarian cancer.
Griffith University’s Institute of Glycomics has released data showing SubB2M can be used to detect all ovarian cancer stages with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity.
BARD1 holds the exclusive worldwide licence to SubB2M in using it to detect any cancer.
It is a protein that binds specifically to the sugar molecule Neu5Gc that is present in a range of malignancies.
Detection of Neu5Gc in cancer patients’ blood
Researchers from Griffith University and the University of Adelaide worked together to engineer the SubB2M protein to have “exquisite specificity” in binding to Neu5Gc. Researchers have now proven its ability to detect Neu5Gc in the blood stream of cancer patients.
During testing 47 patients who all had varying stages of ovarian cancer were found to all have “significantly elevated” Neu5Gc glycan levels compared to the 22 cancer free control individuals.
Dr Lucy Shewell from the Institute of Glycomics presented the research at the ANZGOG conference with the paper Detection of N-glycolylneuraminic acid biomarkers in sera from patients with ovarian cancer using an engineered N-glycolylneuraminic acid-specific lectin SubB2M.
The research concluded using SubB2M has the potential to be used as a diagnostic market to detect early ovarian cancer as well as a tool for monitoring disease progression in late-stage cancer.
BARD1’s chief scientific officer Dr Peter French described the results as “outstanding”.
“This work underpins BARD1’s decision to licence the technology and develop it for novel tests for breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, as well as for ovarian cancer.”
Critical unmet need
Meanwhile, BARD1 chief executive officer Dr Leearne Hinch said the company would continue collaborating with Griffith University to develop and validate commercial assays for monitoring treatment response and recurrence in ovarian cancer patients to improve health outcomes.
She said there was a “critical unmet need” in the ovarian cancer field with the malignancy noted as the leading cause of gynaecological cancer deaths worldwide.
In 2018 alone there were 295,000 new cases diagnosed and 185,000 deaths.
A key contributor to the high death rate is the fact the disease is often diagnosed at a late stage. This results in a poor prognosis and five year survival rate of 46%.