MedTech Awards 2020

10 GHP / MedTech Awards 2020 , Dec20521 German company Barron Biomedical has been awarded for its outstanding gene analysis services and engagement in research, consultancy and education in the field of personalised cancer medicine. The company’s Managing Director, Dr. Carlos Barron, talked with us about the company’s achievements and future plans. In the last few years, Barron Biomedical has provided a service consisting in sequencing hundreds of genes of the patient cancer using NGS, and then integrating the NGS findings on the affected genes with the patient’s clinical data and with biological and clinical information from scientific publications. The result is a scientifically- based recommendation for a personalised therapy. When the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Europe, the company reacted swiftly, harnessing its expertise. Here, Dr. Barron recalls: “We applied our methodology to the integration of biological and clinical information about the disease, which at the time was scarse and unstructured. The result was a comprehensive report on COVID-19 that we distributed to all our medical contacts. We are pleased that our report helped many physicians to understand the new disease at an early phase of the pandemic and thus better protect their patients”. In 2020, Barron Biomedical expanded the NGS service to the sequencing of the cancer exome. The exome consists of the DNA segments encoding all human genes. Since the human being has about 22,300 genes, the exome analysis increases the predictive power of the therapeutic recommendation. Currently, the company evaluates the sequencing of the cancer transcriptome by NGS, which consists of all RNAs expressed in the patient cancer. According to Dr. Barron two main obstacles exist for the clinical use of the transcriptome analysis: first, the changes in RNAs occurring when the tumour is removed from the body (caused by hypoxia and temperature drop) result in a distorted transcriptome. Second, clinical studies need to be conducted to validate the benefit of the transcriptome analysis. He believes that overcoming these obstacles and including the transcriptome is possible and will further increase the predictive power of the therapeutic recommendation. In addition to NGS services, in 2020 the company has also intensified its activities in counseling and education for healthcare institutions and oncologists in the understanding and application of precision oncology. Regarding future plans, Dr. Barron explained his project on Personalisation of Cancer Drugs: “For each drug used in the clinical practice there are always responders and non-responders. We know for many drugs the mechanisms of absorption, hepatic metabolism, influx, efflux and metabolism within the cancer cell as well as the proteins (transporters and enzymes) controlling these mechanisms” (see Fig. 1). “We also know that a single alteration in one of these proteins or in the drug target can lead to resistance to the involved drug. Therefore, by detecting this alteration in a patient, we could predict his/her individual non-response to this drug. I am convinced that the existing technologies in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, pharmacogenomics and 3D cell culturing, boosted with Artificial Intelligence, should be able to detect the alterations in the mentioned proteins and their genes relevant for each drug. This would enable prediction of response to each drug and thus therapy personalisation. On a long term, this can improve the performance of the cancer therapies”. To bring these technologies to clinical use, Dr. Barron will initate discussions with oncologists and institutions on clinical studies aimed at the validation of technologies for the prediction of response to essential medicines for cancer drugs. For funding and sensibilisation, he wishes to involve the public because many healthy citizens today will be cancer patients tomorrow. In Germany for example, 51% men and 43% women develop cancer during lifetime. Therefore the public will benefit from personalisation of therapy like no other group. For Dr. Barron this project remains faithful to the company’s mission: “Our focus is the cancer patient, and how to improve his/her chances of survival through therapy personalisation”. Email: [email protected] Web: Leading Specialists in Precision Oncology Technology 2020 - Europe