The proprietary BARD1 technology is a biomarker platform covering various BARD1 tumour markers, diagnostic and therapeutic methods and uses in multiple cancers. BARD1 tumour markers have potential utility as diagnostic biomarkers for the detection and monitoring of cancer and therapeutic targets for immunotherapies used in the treatment of cancer. The technology has potential applications across breast, ovarian, lung, colorectal and other cancers.
BARD1 is a protein that normally partners with the better known protein BRCA1 to act in repair of damaged DNA that otherwise could lead to the cell becoming cancerous. A range of deletions in the BARD1 protein leads to the loss of the ability of BARD1 to bind to BRCA1 and subsequently the loss of the cell’s DNA-repair mechanism. This increase in the level of the altered BARD1 proteins (BARD1 isoforms) ultimately can promote the formation and maintenance of tumour growth. The overexpressed altered isoforms of BARD1 can induce an immune response and the generation of antibodies. These “autoantibodies” appear in the early stages of many types of cancer. The autoantibodies bind to small defined sections (epitopes) on the altered BARD1 isoforms. Using panels of up to thirty small peptides (10 – 20 amino acids in length that have been synthesised in the laboratory) that represent the epitopes to which these autoantibodies bind, assays can be designed to detect the presence of autoantibodies to tumour-associated BARD1 in a patient’s serum. The probability of cancer being present is then determined based on an algorithm that integrates the level and abundance of different autoantibodies to altered BARD1 isoforms present in the patient’s serum compared to that of healthy people. The algorithm is developed from LASSO (least absolute shrinkage and selection operator) modelling of results of tests on several hundred cancer and control serum samples.