With an analysis of the gut microbiome, a new test from Biome Diagnostics predicts whether patients will respond to a specific cancer therapy.
Immunotherapy is considered a great hope for the future in the fight against cancer. It supports the body’s immune system in fighting cancer cells. One of the approaches is therapy with so-called immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). According to studies, it promises significantly higher chances of success than chemotherapy. But there is a catch: a large number of patients show severe side effects such as tiredness, nausea, vomiting, skin reactions or the development of autoimmune diseases. “This is particularly dramatic when the treatment does not work – which is the case in around 60 to 70 percent of patients (depending on the type of cancer),” says the Lower Austrian startup Biome Diagnostics. This has now presented a prediction test in which a stool sample is used to determine whether patients will respond to ICI therapy and how likely the side effects mentioned will occur.
“This is revolutionary”
BiomeOne – that’s the name of the AI-supported test from Biome Diagnostics – has a prediction accuracy of over 80 percent, based on clinical studies, according to the startup. These were carried out at the Department of Internal Medicine and Pneumology at the Floridsdorf Clinic, the Medical University of Vienna, the Medical University of Innsbruck and the Medical University of Graz. “For the first time it is possible to use the gut microbiome to determine the response to cancer immunotherapy. This is revolutionary. It is a great relief, especially for the patients, because it is a non-invasive method,” comments Barbara Sladek, who founded Biome Diagnostics together with Nikolaus Gasche.
MyBioma became Biome Diagnostics
It’s not Biome Diagnostics’ first product. The startup was founded in 2018 as MyBioma and has been on the market for several years with the product of the same name. With this, users can send in a stool sample themselves and then receive analyzes and advice based on the study developed by the startup. The startup’s technology is based on a combination of DNA sequencing and machine learning. In 2021, the company announced for the first time that it also wanted to use it in cancer diagnostics.
Link to the Startup: https://www.biome-dx.com/