EconomyFinancialKnowing the DNA of a tumor? This company claims...

Knowing the DNA of a tumor? This company claims it can improve terminal cancer treatments

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world. In 2020, this disease accounted for almost 10 million deaths according to the latest available data from the World Health Organization (WHO). In Mexico, the rate of deaths from malignant tumors went from 6.18 deaths per 10,000 people in 2010 to 7.17 per 10,000 in 2020 , according to Inegi. And now, there is the possibility that some patients can access personalized treatments, through precision medicine.

This type of medicine, also called personalized medicine , bases treatments on genes and a certain disease, and in the case of terminal cancer, they are a support to design more effective treatments for patients. This is where Biomakers, a company of Argentine origin, seeks to make a difference for those who suffer from this disease in Mexico and Latin America.

Nicolás Kirchuk, general director of the company, explains that they provide molecular and genetic testing services for patients in Latin America. With these biomarkers, in 72 hours it is possible to know the DNA of a tumor , which allows doctors to make more precise decisions regarding medical treatments for terminal cancer patients, since they identify the mutated genes of the cancer and the classification of the tumor .

“Previously it was called lung or breast cancer, but today it is known that there are different kinds of lung cancer, for example. The name is the same, but the surname changes according to the genetic characteristics of the tumor and we need to determine what the mutations are in each tumor to know if the patient is a candidate or not for a specific drug for that tumor”, he declares.

The company, which has laboratories in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, has the capacity to collect blood and tissue samples from patients in various cities in Latin America, which opens the opportunity for sequences of patients in the region to be carried out , and with it, clinical studies that consider them, since Nicolás Kirchuk declares that spending now is carried out only with European or American patients, therefore, the medicines would be being developed with genetic data from Latin Americans.

The biomarkers market had a global value of 51.18 billion dollars in 2020 and will reach 147.59 billion by 2028, with an annual growth rate of 14.2% in the period, according to an analysis by Grand View Research.

“We are here to take a large percentage of that market, because we are not only having an impact on the genetic diagnosis of patients in Latin America, but we are also having an impact on the development of new drugs by providing the genetic data of our patients”, comments the manager .

Getting to Central America from Mexico

The company started operations in 2014, and extended its genetic sequencing laboratories to Mexico and Brazil, from where they plan to grow from 10 to 17 the countries in which they collect genetic markers. The plan is, from Mexico, to serve patients located in Central America .

Biomakers raised a $3 million seed round last year, and of that capital, more than 50% went to operations in Mexico and Brazil. Now, the firm is in the process of raising a $12 million Series A round , and 40% of the resources will be used to grow technological capabilities in Mexico.

The company developed the Single Oncology Testing Platform, where patient tests and all genetic information are incorporated, which can be consulted by doctors. Its sequencing technology, meanwhile, has a part of Artificial Intelligence and bioinformatics, which generates big data, with which treatments for patients are determined, in addition to its algorithm learning their clinical and genetic characteristics.

Biomakers offers some basic studies at no cost for some patients, which involve a more limited number of genes, while those that consider a number of genes simultaneously with new generation technology have an approximate cost of between 1,000 and 1,500 dollars, approximately. .

“90% of our patients have advanced cancer, which is generally an incurable disease and the most important factor here is patient survival, so we work to make the advanced disease chronic, and our goal in 10 years is that the advanced cancer is a chronic disease, as HIV is today”, adds the director.

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