Biomarker validation services awarded to four SMEs

Four companies have been awarded the Biomarker Validation Award in the framework of the European project Codex4SMEs. The award is endowed with about EUR 100,000, which are granted in the form of laboratory services. The selected companies can now benefit from IBBL’s biomarker validation services to validate their candidate biomarkers.

Biomarkers are molecules, genes or characteristics that serve as indicators of normal or diseased biological processes. They can be identified through blood, urine or tissue analysis, providing information about the health or disease status of the patient. Based on this profile, the patient can receive a personalised therapy. In the case of cancer treatment for instance, patients receive only the type of therapy that matches the specific genetic variant of the tumour. The identification and validation of these biomarkers is therefore very important for the success of personalised medicine.

In this context, the Interreg North-West Europe (Interreg NWE) project Codex4SMEs (Companion diagnostics expedited for small and medium-sized enterprises) aims to build a transnational network to accelerate the development of companion diagnostics by small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), hence promoting personalised medicine in Europe. Two main services are available to SMEs under the project, namely Knowledge Transfer and Sample Access – delivered by the Biobank of Graz (BBG) – and Biomarker Validation – provided by IBBL.

The winners of the Biomarker Validation Award are SkylineDx (Netherlands) — an SME engaged in diagnostics in the field of melanoma and myeloma — Metabrain Research (France) —  a company focusing on metabolic diseases — Mediagnost (Germany) — active in infectiology, neurology and endocrinology research —  as well as Atriva Therapeutics (Germany), which investigates viral infections.

“The Codex4SMEs project offers valuable support to SMEs because it provides them with free and exclusive access to otherwise expensive biomarker validation services and know-how, as well as with the good quality biological samples required for the validation”, explains Dr. Margot Jehle from BioRegio STERN, leader of the Codex4SMEs consortium. “We are delighted to be putting our long-standing expertise in biomarker validation at the service of these innovative SMEs and to be contributing to the advancement of diagnostics not only in oncology, but also in the areas of metabolic disorders and infectious diseases”, concludes Dr. Monica Marchese, Biomarker Validation Scientist at IBBL.

Codex4SMEs is part of the Interreg North-West Europe (INTERREG NWE) programme, a strategic key element of the European Union’s structural and investment policy, inspiring cross-border cooperation between regions and cities. INTERREG NWE co-finances the project through a € 1.9 million allocation from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).