OBD identifies biomarkers for Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

OBD announces the completion of the pilot study and discovery of EpiSwitch™ biomarkers for NPC.

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a cancer originating in the nasopharynx, is a significant concern in certain regions of East Asia where incidences can reach up to 30/100,000 people. The causes of an increased risk for NPC in these regions are not entirely clear, it is understood that there are both epigenetic and genetic factors implicated in its causation and almost all forms of NPC are associated with EBV infection. NPC produces few symptoms early in its course, with the result that most cases are quite advanced when detected. With this in mind, OBD carried out a pilot study on blood samples from Filipino and Singaporean populations with NPC using its EpiSwitch™ technology. Biomarkers from three loci - DLC1, DLEC-1, and RASSF1A showed particularly promising results, differentiating samples from NPC patients and controls, and will be utilised in the final design of the diagnostic test.

The OBD EpiSwitch™ pilot study for Parkinson’s disease completed successfully.

After Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common, neurodegenerative condition affecting around 0.5-1% of the population between the ages of 65-69. OBD has evaluated the epigenetic read-outs on the loci of the genetic, epigenetic, and protein markers that had been previously identified and independently linked to Parkinson’s disease using the EpiSwitch™ platform technology. Biomarkers suitable for differentiation between PD patients and controls were identified including biomarkers in the loci highly sensitive microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), α-synuclein (SNCA) and serine/arginine repetitive matrix 2 (SRRM2). This led to a complete and accurate discrimination between the two groups and shows the utility of this test for further development of a PD diagnostic.

The OBD EpiSwitch™ Alzheimer’s pilot study brings hope for early diagnosis and intervention.

There are an estimated 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the United States and this number is expected to increase to 13.2 million by 2050. The lack of an accurate early diagnostic method to detect AD adds significant social and economic costs. Currently, $183 billion is spent yearly on Alzheimer’s associated costs.

A pilot study was set up to detect the presence of blood biomarkers for systemic epigenetic changes utilising the EpiSwitch™ platform technology. The EpiSwitch™ technology identified the presence of valid biomarkers in key signature genes associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including amyloid precursor protein (APP), apolipoprotein E (APOE) and phosphatidylinositol-binding clathrin assembly protein (PICALM).