Gene sequencing platform IDs new biomarkers for pancreatic cancer survival

Genomic and pharmacogenomic diagnostic tests developer Skuldtech (Montpellier, France) used its gene sequencing platform to identify new biomarkers for pancreatic cancer treatment during a phase III clinical trial.

These survival markers were identified during a clinical study, whose purpose was to evaluate the therapeutic efficiency of a new treatment combining pharmaceutical company AB Science (Paris, France)'s masitinib and gemcitabine, compared to the current standard pancreatic cancer treatment of gemcitabine only. Patents have been filed to protect the markers, which are also associated with the masitinib marketing authorization application already filed with regulatory authorities by AB Science.
 
Based on its technological approach associating gene sequencing with its proprietary bioinformatic tools and gene profiling studies (transcriptome) on blood samples, Skuldtech has identified several sets of blood biomarkers associated with the different groups of patients treated in this phase III clinical trial.

To reach this objective, the first part of the protocol was to collect a blood sample from each patient before treatment, establish its transcriptome, and associate it with the patient's clinical progress. Then, significant bioinformatic and biostatistical processing enabled the isolation of biological markers associated with each patient group, with patients grouped according to their overall survival. These biomarkers will be used for developing future diagnostics that will help choose the treatment and establish clinical prognostics for patients.
 
Based on the same technological approach, Skuldtech also filed two new patents in 2012. The first, filed in February, is related to predictive blood markers for four-year survival in patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). The second, filed in September, is related to predictive blood markers for an inflammatory joint disease.
 
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