Projects


Several project in which collaborators of DNAlytics are/have been involved are described below.

Cancer Research


DNAlytics has been working for GSK Biologicals in the context of their cancer therapeutic vaccine under development. Several melanoma patients of the trial cohort were responding to the treatment while other were not, lowering the global efficacy of the treatment.

Expression data had been taken for several tens of thousands of potential markers before treatment was given to the patients. We were asked if our technology would be able to predict the response to the treatment based on those data, and at the same time identify which smallest possible set of markers was needed to make such prediction.

Those objectives are the basis for patient stratification in further clinical phases. Patient stratification leads to increased efficacy on the targeted profiles. Responder profiling also allows companion diagnostics strategies.

Some of the results from this collaboration gave rise to a patent application on a method for classifying a cancer patient as responder or non-responder to immunotherapy.

What our customer says:


"DNAlytics technology has been used to seek predictive markers associated with clinical benefit to our cancer immunotherapeutic in melanoma patient. We provided them blinded data for more than 54.000 expression markers, but without the name of the markers and binary information on clinical outcome. After few weeks, they provided a list of 33 markers that were discriminative for patient outcome. Unblinding of the code showed that the gene signature was biologically very relevant, and confirmed biological hypotheses stated by our experts!

The data were patented and are being prospectively validated in a PhII metastatic melanoma study treated with our lead cancer immunotherapeutic."

Jamila Louahed
Vice President, DAP Head R&D ASCI
Immunotherapeutics Business Unit.



Another ongoing project is focusing on a link between hypoxic conditions and poor prognosis with respect to metastasis. This project is a collaboration with Prof. Olivier Feron from the Angiogenesis and Cancer Research Laboratory of the University of Louvain.

Rheumatology


The aim of the Rheumagene Project is to validate the diagnostic value of transcriptomic and/or proteomic profiles of synovial material in early arthritis. It is based on preliminary data showing that gene expression profiles in synovial biopsies from patients with arthritis are able to discriminate the samples according to the underlying disorder. The large-scale confirmation of these data after this three-year project will lead to the development of a prototype of a diagnostic tool to be used in routine rheumatology practice. This project is funded by BioWin, the health cluster of Wallonia. It is a collaboration between Eppendorf Array technologies (EAT), Eurogentec and the University of Louvain.

Some of the results of the project have been transfered to DNAlytics and made available to the community through a diagnostic solution named RheumaKit.

Allergies in Newborns


The Cristall Project aims at identifying allergy risk factors in newborns. To this end, about 300 children have been enrolled into a clinical survey from their birth for five years, which is a world premiere. Many factors are monitored, among which gene expression at 6 months. Predictive models for prognosis of the allergic status, occurring months or years later, are built from such early gene expression measurements. Those models define characteristic gene profiles of the patients. This project is a collaboration between the University of Louvain, GSK Biologicals and the Walloon Region.