On July 6th 2021 the online event „Biomarkers from Research to Market“ took place as part of the Interreg NWE project Codex4SMEs. Close to 50 participants used the opportunity to receive a detailed introduction to the validation of biomarkers and the importance of biomarker quality. Modern medicine aims to treat diseases in a precisely targeted manner. Thus, the development of biomarkers can make a significant contribution to personalized medicine. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing new biomarkers, it is quite a challenge to obtain high-quality patient samples due to various hurdles.
Dr. Monica Marchese from the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) gave a detailed insight into the “art of biomarker validation”. The participants received important information on how the LIH can support diagnostics developers. Using four case studies from the Codex4SMEs project, Dr. Marchese showed which benefits SMEs developing biomarkers can derive from a collaboration with the IBBL.
A comprehensive introduction to the history and classification of biomarkers was given by Dr. Isabelle Molina-Batxelli from Eurofins ADME Bioanalyses in France. Dr. Molina-Batxelli explained the importance of neuroscientific biomarkers for diagnostics and drug development. In Europe, for example, around 30 percent - almost 179 million people - are affected by neurodegenerative diseases. Biomarkers are therefore increasingly playing a key role in research into diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
Dr. Pablo Zardoya Laguardia from Biobank Graz in Austria focused on the importance of biobanks in the quality assurance of biomarkers. He guided the audience through the test cycle of biomarkers from pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical phases, highlighted typical types of errors and explained how they can be avoided. Dr. Zardoya Laguardia noted that 62 percent of errors in clinical laboratories are due to preanalytical factors. The quality of a study therefore mainly depends on preanalytical factors.