Biomarkers are emerging as the most essential tool to boost efficiency in the field of prognostic diagnosis and of drug target discovery. Around 90% of new chemical compounds fail during clinical trials and biomarkers have the potential to decrease this by identifying potential drug failures at an early stage, as well as providing clinicians with a predictive tool for patient stratification, using conventional drugs. Thus, the advent of biomarker pattern profiling, rather than reliance on a single target, are set to improve results in the future, by allowing patient stratification, integrated with pre-clinical diagnosis and target discovery.
The translation of basic discoveries to the clinic is slow, expensive, and demanding as it requires multi-disciplinary collaborations involving basic researchers, clinicians, pathologists, patients, and regulatory bodies. Clinical management of cancer also remains a major challenge, and mortality figures have stayed up, despite recent advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of the disease. The focus of CREATE Health is to address these problems by integrating cutting-edge technologies with clinical needs. More specifically, we believe that we will be able to develop better predictors by integrating:
- molecular profiling with clinical response data available,
- functional in vitro studies of biological mechanisms mediating tumour progression and drug response, and
- large-scale tissue microarray archives to validate candidate targets and biomarker, using recombinant human antibody libraries
Based on leading high-throughput technology development, the CREATE Health Center of excellence could have a major impact on the way diseases will be diagnosed, treated and managed in the coming 5-10 years.