NEW YORK – A new European consortium led by Swiss molecular diagnostics firm Novigenix has been awarded up to €1 million ($1.1 million) from Eurostars, which is funded by European governments and the European Union, to develop a blood-based multi-omics colorectal cancer (CRC) assay.
As part of the consortium, Novigenix will partner with Maastricht University in the Netherlands, Belgian startup Biolizard, and Katholieke Universiteit (KU) Leuven in Belgium to develop an assay based on transcriptomic and epigenetic biomarkers for early detection and relapse monitoring in CRC patients.
The collaborators plan to leverage transcriptome profiles of whole blood and candidate tumor DNA methylation markers in cell-free DNA. In addition, the team will develop an automated and structured data analysis process and validate multi-omics signatures.
While Novigenix will apply its immuno-transcriptomics technology, Biolizard will focus on biological data integration, bioinformatics analysis, and pipeline implementation, in addition to providing artificial intelligence options to develop the test.
A group led by Manon van Engeland at Maastricht University will examine CRC DNA methylation, while KU Leuven's molecular digestive oncology group will offer a clinical network for the prospective collection of biological specimens and data interpretation.
"This Eurostars project combines excellent, world-leading science and technologies in a consortium dedicated to making significant advances in how colorectal cancer is detected and its treatment monitored," Novigenix CEO Jan Groen said in a statement. "We believe the outcome of this project, a potential omics-based test, will be important for the diagnosis and disease management of CRC patients."