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BioMark Diagnostics Nabs Canadian Funding for Lung Cancer Liquid Biopsy

NEW YORK – Liquid biopsy firm BioMark Diagnostics said Tuesday that its Quebec-based subsidiary, BioMark Diagnostic Solutions, has been awarded advisory services and funding of up to C$169,550 ($135,062) from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to support development of a liquid biopsy assay for the early detection and screening of lung cancer.

BDS will use the funding to support ongoing validation and verification studies and will also gain access to technical and business development support from NRC IRAP.

Jean-François Haince, general manager at BDS, said in a statement the firm is grateful for the support and hopes to "rapidly proceed into commercialization" once these studies are complete.

BioMark's technology is based in metabolomics, where it has collected data suggesting that levels of the acetylated form of the drug amantadine in patients given the medication can indicate elevated levels of the enzyme spermine/spermidine N-acetyl transferase (SSAT), which are, in turn, associated with cancer.

For lung cancer, the company has said it is working with investigators at the University of Alberta to advance a customized mass spectrometry-based metabolomic assay incorporating multiple targets.

BioMark's website states that a 1,500-sample retrospective study is underway, with results expected in early 2022. The company aims to launch the assay as a laboratory-developed test before the end of next year.