"GCT has entered into a licensure agreement with Baylor Scott & White Research Institute to test a novel biomarker technology that may aid in the diagnosis, and potentially help to guide the treatment, of a form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme," said Dr. M. Karen Newell Rogers, Chief Scientific Consultant and Advisor at Global Cancer Technology.
Glioblastoma is a currently untreatable form of brain cancer that kills more than 241,000 people around the world each year, including more than 10,000 Americans. Once diagnosed, patients have only a 16-month life expectancy. GCT is currently executing on promising pre-clinical studies that could provide a treatment for the aggressive brain cancer using novel PI3K inhibitors. The addition of BSWRI's biomarker technology has the potential to markedly improve diagnosis and guide treatment options for patients, and is providing critical support for the development of GCT's brain cancer therapies, and for the company's pre-clinical and clinical research.
Biomarkers, or biological markers, refer to specific characteristics and behaviors of cells and organisms, and are often used in the detection and treatment of serious diseases and medical conditions, including cardiac ischemia, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. In the case of glioblastoma, biomarkers may help researchers and medical providers with early diagnosis, more precise identification of therapeutic targets and drug delivery pathways, measurement of tumor response to therapeutics, and even the detection of potential or actual relapse.
"By using a simple blood test, certain characteristics can help with early diagnosis so that treatment can begin sooner. After treatment, these characteristics can potentially give us clues as to how or if the treatment is working, for example, whether a patient may be responding to the therapy or if there has been a relapse," said Newell Rogers. "The biomarker technology could help us to more easily identify these characteristics at every stage of treatment, starting with diagnosis. Baylor Scott & White's technology supports the development of GCT's new brain cancer therapies, and we are hopeful that the combination of biomarkers paired with better drug delivery systems and more powerful therapeutics will give us both a viable treatment and potentially help unravel a pathway to a cure for glioblastoma."
BSWRI currently holds more than 600 issued patents, including patents for biomarkers for colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers, and the group is presently conducting clinical trials for brain tumors. In March 2021, the group launched its Texas Immuno-Oncology Biorepository (TIOB) initiative aimed at detecting cancer earlier and treating it more effectively than ever before.
"Baylor Scott & White Research Institute always delivers on its mission to promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities. One of BSWRI's contributions to healthcare innovation is to commercialize our patented intellectual property, and our patients will benefit from these inventions. I am happy that Global Cancer Technology licenses biomarker technology from BSWRI to support innovative research efforts towards diagnosis and treatment for glioblastoma," said Dr. Erxi Wu, Director of Neuro-Oncology Research Center, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. "It is our mission to translate our bench research to the bedside in clinical practice. We will develop the first whole blood-biomarker based tool for accurate and early detection of glioblastoma, thereby providing an avenue to more efficiently and reliably optimized therapy for each individual patient. Success would represent a dramatic shift in our ability to improve clinical management of glioblastoma."
Research pairing the biomarker technology with GCT's drug delivery system and PI3K inhibitors is set to begin within the year.
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