2018 Technology Awards

4 GHP / 2018 Technology Awards , Barron Biomedical Precision Oncology, also known as Personalized Cancer Medicine, comprises the targeted drugs as well as the gene sequencing technologies to find out the most suitable drugs for the individual patient. Barron Biomedical follows this goal through two approaches: firstly, it provides advanced sequencing services for pathologists, oncologists and their cancer patients. Secondly, it conducts research projects on technologies to improve the performance of cancer therapies. The company operates from Berlin and is led by Dr. Carlos Barron, a molecular oncologist with medical background and experience in academic and industrial research. Dr. Barron studied at the Faculties of Medicine and Sciences of the University Cayetano Heredia and obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Konstanz. He has worked at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, the Universities of Modena and Milan, Roche Oncology (R&D), and a biotech company. In 2010 he founded Barron Biomedical. The firm’s work revolves around finding a solution to the age-old problem in oncology: the lack of personalisation. Every drug is prescribed for patients classified in the same group according to clinical and histopathological criteria. However, within the same group there are always responders and non-responders Best Precision Oncology Technology Provider - Europe Barron Biomedical is a service and research enterprise in the field of Precision Oncology, specialising in the analysis of the cancer genes of patients, with the aim to personalize the drug treatment and therefore improve their chances of survival. We have invited Dr. Carlos Barron, theManaging Director, to tell us more about his innovative firmand the life-saving research it undertakes. to the drug. This is in part due to the genetic differences among individual cancers, which render many of them resistant to the drug. Unfortunately, the oncologist cannot distinguish these non-responders before the onset of the therapy. The consequences are devastating: side effects without benefit, waste of economic resources, and waste of time for other drugs that would have worked in earlier stages and later can hardly stop the disease. Sequencing technologies, especially the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), can improve the performance of cancer therapies. In the routine diagnostic NGS is employed to sequence genes encoding for proteins that are targets for drugs or that influence the targets. Some variants in the sequence of these genes can promote drug activity and other cause drug resistance; their detection by NGS can predict response or non-response. To support patients and the industry, Barron Biomedical offers a wide range of sequencing services. The most prominent one is the “Comprehensive Analysis” , which employs a NGS panel for 161 genes. These genes encode for proteins controlling the main mechanisms altered in cancer (proliferation, apoptosis, survival, cell cycle, DNA repair, etc.) and many of them are targets for drugs. Figure 1 shows some of these proteins. Nov18257 The Comprehensive Analysis starts with the DNA and RNA isolation from a sample of the solid tumour or the hematologic malignancy; it follows the sequencing with the NGS panel, the identification of the gene variants by bioinformatics, and the clinical interpretation of the variants. The clinical interpretation is the core competence of the company. It is performed by interrogating curated biomedical databases, databases of regulatory agencies, and by reading publications. The detected variants are interpreted and integrated in a comprehensive description of the altered mechanisms of the individual cancer. In addition, the state of the large number of analysed targets can be described. According to Dr. Barron: “whereas competitors limit their investigation to a few targets and their associated genes, our Comprehensive Analysis investigates simultaneously many targets and the typical mechanisms of cancer. With this information we can identify the most vulnerable point to attack the disease with drugs. The contact physician receives our report explaining each variant and listing the drugs with the highest probability to be effective, accompanied by the scientific evidences.” Several measures assure accurate and reliable results during the whole process: the procedures are optimized and standardized, manual steps are conducted by two employees, key steps undergo QC tests, etc. Alongside this, Barron Biomedical also conducts research projects. Dr. Barron explains the rational of the 1st project he calls “Genuine Tumour Gene Expression”.