BARD1 Life Sciences (ASX: BD1) – The Melbourne-based biotech’s shares rocketed 132 per cent following a positive announcement last Thursday on ovarian cancer detection. The company said Griffith University’s Institute of Glycomics had released data showing that the company’s licensed SubB2M technology can be used to detect all stages of ovarian cancer with 100% specificity and 100 per cent sensitivity.
What is SubB2M?
BD1’s SubB2M is a protein that binds specifically to a sugar molecule called Neu5Gc, which is present in a range of cancers. There is also evidence that the cancer-specific sugar is present in a wide range of solid human tumours and can be detected in serum using SubB2M.
What does this mean?
Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at the latter stages of its spread, which usually results in a poor diagnosis, with a five-year survival rate of 46 per cent. Catching ovarian cancer early is the difference between life and death. According to the company, ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynaecological cancer deaths worldwide, with around 295,000 new cases diagnosed and 185,000 deaths in 2018.
Griffith University’s Professor Mike Jennings said: “The SubB2M technology has proved to have remarkable sensitivity and specificity for detection of these aberrant sugar blood biomarkers in the case of ovarian cancer and we look forward to working with BARD1 to get this test into clinical use.”
Detection of Neu5Gc-glycans using SubB2M could potentially be used as an indicator for the detection of early-stage ovarian cancer, possibly saving thousands of lives. It can also be used as tool for monitoring disease progression in late-stage cancer.
While this data is preliminary and very early days, its potential is huge. The technology can be used to develop novel tests for breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, as well as for ovarian cancer. BD1 holds the exclusive worldwide licence for the use of SubB2M to detect any cancer, hence the huge jump in the share price.
And the good news keeps coming. BD1 followed-up with an announcement today on the test of the SubB2M technology in breast cancer detection: Griffith University has released additional data showing 100 per cent specificity and over 95% per cent sensitivity for detection of all stages of breast cancer.