The interim results from a clinical study of cancer testing technology co-invented by an Institute for Frontier Materials researcher have shown great promise in moving the technology towards commercialisation.
IFM’s Dr Wren Greene, alongside Swinburne University of Technology’s Professor Simon Moulton and Dr Saimon Moraes Silva, co-invented the Universal Bionsensors (UBI) Tn Antigen cancer biosensor, which uses a ‘finger prick’ blood test to accurately measure changes to a cancer patient’s tumor status when monitoring cancer remission and reoccurence.
Interim results from a development clinical study by Peter Mac, suggest that the Tn Antigen handheld biosensor is potentially more sensitive and more specific than the existing FDA-approved Carcinoembryonic Antigen ‘CEA’ biomarker used for monitoring colorectal cancer (sensitivity 55.2% and specificity 83.6%). UBI says sales of the CEA biomarker are estimated to be more than $3 billion per annum.
According to UBI, the Tn Antigen bionsensor could deliver easier, cheaper, and more frequent tests, and could be used by oncologists and cancer patients in clinics, hospitals, GP clinics or at home.
Dr Greene says the research team spent the last seven years developing the sensor platform technology, which utilises lubricin – a protein found in your joints – as an anti-fouling coating technology that enhances the biosensor performance.
‘We have shown using actual cancer patient bloods we our Tn-antigen test has the potential to detect prostate and colorectal cancers with a sensitivity – percentage of cancer patients correctly identified – and selectivity – percentage of healthy patients not told they have cancer incorrectly – greater than the current FDA approved biomarkers,’ Dr Greene says.
Now, Dr Greene is working directly with UBI in the commercialisation of the technology.
UBI CEO John Sharman says the Tn Antigen platform has the potential to materially improve the way in which patients and physicians monitor changes to cancer tumors in a point of care setting, using its hand-held analyzer and a finger prick of whole blood.
‘This first set of results from our Development Clinical Study are extremely promising and reinforces our confidence in moving on with the commercialisation of this product,’ he says.
‘Importantly our development work continues, and we are confident we can deliver an even better performance from the Tn Antigen biosensor than results achieved to date indicate.’
For more detail on the results of the development clinical study, click here.
To read more about Dr Greene’s work with UBI, click here.