Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 37 of 47

In the Lab 36 Clinical OMICs January/February 2017 Helomics, MDNA Launch Mitochondrial Testing Collaboration Clinical contract research organization Helomics and MDNA Life Sciences, a molecular diagnostics company with a focus on the development of liquid biopsy tests based on the mitochondrial genome, have announced a collabora- tion centered on the development, vali- dation, and commercialization of MDNA's Mitomic Technology platform. "This strategic relationship with Helo- mics will enable us to accelerate product development, clinical validation, and the commercialization of our deep pipeline of novel, best-in-class liquid biopsy tests," said Chris Mitton, president and CEO of MDNA. In its initial stages, Helomics will offer MDNA's Prostate Core Mitomic Test and its liquid biopsy Prostate Mitomic Test in selected U.S. markets through its CLIA-approved clinical laboratory. As part of the ongoing broader develop- ment work, MDNA will grant Helomics a license to offer diagnostics tests based on MDNA's proprietary mitochondrial DNA technology to Helomics clients in the diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries as part of its menu of services as a contract research organization. "We anticipate that, by leveraging the core expertise of both companies, many new diagnostic tests will be developed and commercialized that will lead to a better understanding of the uniqueness Will You Age Gracefully? Biomarker Patterns Will Tell Just one biomarker won't tell you whether you will enjoy a healthy dotage or suffer a debilitating age-related disease. Two or three biomarkers might not suf- fice, either. But how about 19? That's how many biomarkers figured into a panel developed by scientists based at Boston University Medical Center. Although the 19 biomarkers have their ups and downs, they settle into 26 different signatures of aging—some of which auger well, and some, otherwise. These biomarkers are grist not for divination, but a systems analysis approach that simultaneously integrates multiple biomarkers that vary with age, including biomarkers specific for inflammatory, hematological, metabolic, and hormonal functions. The approach was detailed in an article ("Biomarker Signatures of Aging") that appeared in Aging Cell. "The intuition of the approach," the article's authors wrote, "is that in a sample of individuals of different ages, there will be an 'aver- age distribution' of circulating biomarkers that represents a prototypical signature of average aging. Additional signatures that may correlate to varying aging pat- terns, for example, disease-free aging, or aging with increased risk for diabetes or cardiovascular disease, will be characterized by a departure of sub- sets of the circulating biomarkers from the average distribution." Using blood biomarker data from almost 5,000 participants in the Long Life Family Study, the Boston University research- ers found that many people—about half—have an average pattern. But smaller groups of people have specific patterns that deviate from the norm and are associated with increased proba- bilities that particular medical conditions, lower levels of physical function, or higher mortality will become apparent eight years hence. "Many prediction and risk scores already exist for specific diseases," says Paola Sebas- tiani, Ph.D., a study co-leader. "Here, though, we are showing that particular patterns of groups of biomarkers can indicate how well a person is aging." Another study co-leader, Thomas Perls, M.D., adds the study shows how proteomics and metabolomics, through Big Data, may constitute the next revo- lution in predictive medicine and drug discovery. It may no longer be necessary for researchers of aging to "wait years and years for clinical outcomes to occur," notes Dr. Sebastiani. In the Lab (continued on page 38) izusek / Getty Images 7active studio / Getty Images

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