Ariana Pharma joins the GastricGlycoExplorer consortium

This collaboration is carried out within the GastricGlycoExplorer consortium, a European Commission funded project. The consortium aims at discovering and developing new diagnostic signatures by characterizing the sugars that are attached to the surface of gastric tissue. "Glycomics" provides a systematic approach for studying sugars that are naturally present on cell surfaces and its application may lead to determine early markers of gastric cancer. Early detection of gastric cancer is likely to have a major impact on patient survival where the current 5-year survival rate is only about 3 out of 10. "Glycomics", one of the latest "omic" sciences, provides a new insight into the complexity of human physiopathology, and has a great potential for the discovery of novel biomarkers.

Gastric cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer in Europe, and yearly about 140,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States. The early detection is a key factor for survival but is still extremely challenging due to the non-specificity of symptoms. Moreover, no reliable biomarkers demonstrated to be of clinical relevance yet.

Ariana Pharma Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mohammad Afshar commented: "We are pleased to participate in this exciting collaboration on a critical health need. The project will enable us to identify novel biomarkers, hopefully leading to an earlier detection of gastric cancer and thus saving patients' lives. It is also an opportunity to extend our Big Data analytics capabilities into glycomics, a promising new field of Omics".

Proteome Informatics Group Leader at SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Dr. Frédérique Lisacek said: "We are very enthusiastic about collaborating with Ariana Pharma and apply their KEM® (Knowledge Extraction and Management) data mining technology to our extensive glycomic knowledge base platforms. This work builds upon my long term interactions with Ariana Pharma's co-founder, Professor Jean Sallantin and his artificial intelligence laboratory at the CNRS."

The consortium will be collecting patients' samples and generate multi-platform data characterizing their glycan and glycoprotein content. Ariana Pharma's role is to identify specific biomarkers related to gastric cancer that may be predictive of different disease stages. To such goal, data mining methods for the automatic data processing of glycomics data will be put in place. The consortium will generate a database as well as web-based tools for automatic processing of glycomics data that may be of great benefit for the scientific community.

Source: Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

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