“Biomarkers are characteristics of the body that you can measure. So your blood pressure is actually a biomarker.” (source fda). How do we decide on which biomarkers to use? In Genomics, there are three source types of biomarkers: DNA, RNA and Proteins. I have conducted a small online survey with an even smaller response rate ;-) of the choice of biomarkers in different companies. There are pros and cons to using each of them in the clinic. DNA and RNA sequencing-based biomarkers are part of a new trend of genomics-based diagnosis that is being performed at the clinic. It is part of the innovation breeze following the COVID-19 pandemic, where DNA or RNA-based sequence diagnosis tests are being offered using novel medical devices that allow sequencing in an easy-to-use way - no human touch required. These medical devices are soon going to be in the clinical trial phase and probably it will take some time until they will be adopted in every clinic around the world.
The Oriel Research Platform (ORT) uses large RNA- sequencing data and machine learning proprietary analytics tools for the development of early detection tests for multiple conditions. These tools are helping ORT to address clinical questions in the pursuit of precision medicine for everyone in every country. Two examples of ORT’s latest developments are: A test to predict whether a Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) patient will develop Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and which patients will develop a Sepsis condition. We were able to yield a ~90% accuracy rate on a blind randomly selected test-set when developing both tests on retrospective blood samples. To use this test in the clinic, a blood sample will be drawn from the patient, the sample will be sent to an RNA-sequencing assay on a sequencing machine, and the sequencing output will be pushed into the ORT test for diagnosis. ORT’s prediction rates are fantastic, but apparently this is not good enough to get ORT into clinics. In order for the tests to be usable in clinics, it must be easy to execute and deliver results quickly. Specifically, in the case of sepsis, as the mortality rate increases by 20% per hour of treatment delay. It seems that when looking at cost and immediate adoption, the protein-based tests are already very common at clinics for other clinic testing assays and are also very easy to adopt.
The DNA and RNA-based tests are becoming more popular in large medical research centers. However, they are still not very common, and therefore there is a big accessibility barrier when it comes to making it available for every patient. Following the above described limitations, ORT is “translating” its discoveries into protein-based biomarkers to allow easy and quicker access. If you would like to use ORT’s methods of biomarker discoveries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org