Biotechnology Focus

Biotechnology Focus February 2013

Biotechnology Focus is Canada's leading authority on Canada's life science news. From biopharma and healthcare to ag-bio and clean tech, our readership includes life science professionals, C-level executives and researchers.

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By: Dr. Bruce McManus ChroniC Diseases BioMaRKeR signatURes and healthcaRe solUtions in heart, lung and kidney failure management L ifestyle, environmental and genetic factors are driving the epidemics of heart, lung and kidney disease in Canada and around the world. Heart, lung and kidney diseases together are responsible for more than 40 per cent of deaths and $3.46 trillion in healthcare spending worldwide. People with chronic conditions such as heart failure, diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, represent approximately 38 per cent of the BC population and consume approximately 80 per cent of the combined physician payment, PharmaCare and acute care budgets (BC Ministry of Health). Chronic diseases are more common in older populations and its prevalence is projected to increase 58 per cent in the next 25 years. In addition, for the first time in history, our children are expected to have a shorter lifespan due to the epidemic of organ failure. Thus, any healthcare improvement focused on chronic disease will realize significant benefits. PROOF Centre Solution The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre), founded in 2008 by competitive federal funding from the Networks of Centres of Excellence, is a not-for-profit Society hosted by Providence Health Care and the University of British 16 BIOTECHNOLOGY FOCUS February 2013 Columbia. Working with a cross-sectoral multi-disciplinary team of clinicians, scientists, technologists, computational biologists, health care providers and authorities, health economists, and patients, the PROOF Centre develops cost-effective blood tests for heart, lung and kidney care, enabling the identification of disease presence, rate of progression, and therapeutic responsiveness. We create health-relevant content for new blood tests, while strategically using systematic measures to ensure physician and health care adoption. PROOF Centre Development Process The PROOF Centre's model begins with identification of a clinical need where a cost-effective blood test would enhance patient experience and outcomes, and bring economic value to Canadians and others globally. Based on coordinated consultation with experts in academia, healthcare, and industry, the PROOF Centre delivers its commercially viable blood tests through a development process that includes collaborator input and resources. The PROOF Centre's goal is to accelerate development of these cost-effective biomarker-based blood tests that address critical clinical needs and bring them to market. PROOF Centre Director, Dr. McManus, and graduate students from the James Hogg Research Centre, examine a venous blood sample – a precious source of "omic" biomarkers. Credit: Brian Smith, Providence Health Care Dr. Raymond Ng, PROOF Centre, Chief Informatics Officer, and other PROOF Centre scientists, Zsuzsanna Hollander, Oliver Günther and Gabriela Cohen Freue, examine promising new data. Credit: Aaron Aubrey Photography The PROOF Centre is among a limited number of teams combining the value of RNAs, proteins, and metabolites in biosignatures. A computation pipeline has been developed using statistical ensembling and decision tree building to evaluate multicomponent marker panels. The team has developed SOPs and quality control measures

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