ProteoSys AG innovation in functional proteomics
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Annexin A3 - a prostate cancer marker

The problem:

Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers amongst men. Diagnostic screening and early detection of prostate cancer today is established with PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) and its isoforms. However, this diagnostic method has strong limitations in the grey area of PSA. As a consequence, up to 75% of the subsequent biopsies are unnecessary.

The objective:

To find a completely new non-invasive method to solve the problems of accuracy of PSA diagnostics.

The approach:

During a large integrated project [Procure BioPharm] dedicated to the discovery of biomarkers for prostate cancer prediction, ProteoSys performed a detailed differential proteomic analysis of well selected biopsies of prostate cancer patients. Image analysis and mass spectrometry identified 5 proteins that are significantly different between cancer and benign hyperplasia. Using a large tissue array, we could show that ANXA 3 has a prognostic value for the various stages of prostatic disease ranging from benign to increasingly aggressive cancers. ANXA3 – is currently under development as a prognostic tissue marker.

More importantly, ProteoSys found ANXA3 in exprimate urine and serum. In various studies the marker could be validated. As the performance in serum finally turned out to be even better than the one in urine the test development focusses on serum.

The result:

The studies showed that ANXA3 represents a comprehensive diagnostic system for early detection of prostate cancer in serum and as a tissue marker for the risk assessment after biopsy, following a novel mechanistic principle. ANXA3 is superior to all known prostate cancer markers and provides - together with PSA -results, that could reduce unnecessary biopsies to approx. 25% from 75% today, and puts urologists in a position to differentiate aggressive from non aggressive prostate cancer to optimise therapies.

ANXA3 has been out-licensed to bioMérieux. Market introduction is expected to be in 2013/2014.