Transcriptome-based target identification for cancer treatment

Barron Biomedical is a privately held German company working in the field of personalized medicine. In order to find a target for therapy, Dr. Carlos Barron chose Genevia Technologies to help analyze a cancer patient’s transcriptomics.

Drug targets in cancer

The team at Barron Biomedical was helping a cancer patient in an advanced metastatic state whose whole-exome analysis had not revealed any targets for therapy. Dr. Carlos Barron, the founder of Barron Biomedical, explains:

– In molecular pathology, DNA sequencing seeks to detect DNA abnormalities in genes that drive cancer in order to use the proteins of these genes as drug targets (see picture). But it lacks the detection of abnormal RNA levels of the same genes that also drive cancer and whose proteins could be used as targets.

– Since the sequencing of our patient's cancer exome did not reveal a single target, I did not want to leave any stone unturned to help the patient. That is why we agreed to study the cancer transcriptome, although this approach is not yet used for clinical purposes due to the lack of clinical studies. The problem was that we did not have the expertise in the bioinformatic processing of transcriptome data in-house, and the time was short.

– We needed to find a commercial partner who could quickly provide reliable bioinformatics expertise and help us select the appropriate control data. We asked for an analysis plan from three different companies, and the workflow proposed by Genevia in all its detail was superior and convincing. The decision became very easy.

An ambitious team who can almost read the customer’s mind

Dr. Barron had shortlisted a few possible databases for the control data but was delighted when Genevia’s Project Manager Thomas Liuksiala found and suggested a more comprehensive one. The transcriptome analysis shed light on the gene expression abnormalities driving the patient's cancer, and with Genevia’s help, Dr. Barron found a target for therapy.

– With the transcriptome analysis, we detected a target that could never be found at the DNA level. This case was very encouraging for the future, as I am planning a project that aims to validate transcriptome analysis through clinical studies to take personalized medicine to the next level.

Dr. Barron was impressed by the honesty and open communication of the Genevia team, and the bioinformaticians felt almost like mind readers.

– Transparency is vital for the success of scientific collaboration, and Genevia is a model in this respect. They shared very openly what can be done and what are the limitations, rather than promising the moon.

– I highly appreciate the true ambition of the Genevia team to solve the problem instead of selling as much as they could. And at least in my case, the Genevia team understood me, a customer, so well that it felt like they were reading my mind, Dr. Barron says with a smile.

Cross-disciplinary collaboration at its finest

Dr. Carlos Barron says that the molecular know-how at Barron Biomedical combined with Genevia’s bioinformatics research services worked together smoothly and efficiently.

– From the very beginning, it was clear that I was dealing with true professionals. Genevia’s bioinformatics competence is in a league of its own, combining the technical and biological aspects of the field at a high qualitative level.

– My own experience with Genevia Technologies is excellent. I would choose Genevia again for challenging tasks, and I hope to collaborate with their outstanding team again in the future.

Dr. Carlos Barron

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