At the beginning of June 2015, PARMENIDes launched an ideas competition, calling upon companies, universities and research institutions to formulate project concepts for new approaches of in-vitro diagnostics, which could help to solve the challenges faced by personalized medicine on a holistic basis. The total of 39 outlines submitted not only confirms how important this subject is, but also demonstrates the wide range of ideas, with which the stakeholders approach to tackle this problem.
In September 2015, an advisory board consisting of experts from the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industry, medical law, laboratory medicine and funding institutions awarded prizes to the four best ideas, whose suggestions were found convincing – not only in terms of the medical-technical aspects but, in particular, the added value provided for patients and the market launching strategies. The winners receive funding amounting to 100,000 Euros for the purpose of conducting a feasibility study.
Project Ideas Selected for Funding
Prof. Frank Bier from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI-BB), together with Prof. Nikolaus Rajewsky from the Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine will carry out a feasibility study for a microarray-based system to detect circular RNA. According to the latest insights, these form a new and valuable class of biomarkers, for example in association with neurodegenerative disorders. This system would initially be used in basic research and subsequently as a diagnostic test in practice.
The project submitted by Dr. Uwe Schedler from the PolyAn GmbH company focuses on an innovative diagnostic procedure in the area of self-testing as evidence of pathogenic diseases of the oral cavity. In cooperation with the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy at the University of Würzburg, he is conducting a proof-of-principle study in order to subsequently develop a chewing gum self-test for the purpose of the early detection of, say, tooth decay.
Dr. Juliane Hoffmann and Prof. Dr. Berend Isermann from the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg, in cooperation with other scientific institutions, have devoted themselves to preliminary work in developing an innovative nucleic acid-based screening technology, which would allow the identification of aggressive prostate carcinomas in the blood and provide patients with a correct therapy with low side effects.
Dr. Holger Eickhoff from the Scienion AG company and Dr. Arif Malik from the MicroDiscovery GmbH company are carrying out a feasibility study for a combined quick test based on glycan arrays. Carbohydrates cover all cells in the human body and play a crucial role in the molecular identification of cell surfaces in association with infections, immune responses and cancer metastases. Based on the example of an autoimmune disorder, the team is now developing the key development parameters for this innovative diagnostics platform.
no news in this list.