Marek Grzelczak, Charles Lawrie y Sergio Arana

The Molecular Oncology Group of Biodonostia Health Research Institute (HRI) has been leading a project INDICATE (IN vitro DIagnostic CAncer TEst) that aims to develop a simple, economical and rapid test to detect clinically relevant cancer-associated mutations in the blood of patients in a point-of-care (POC) format similar to the pregnancy test.

The objective of the project is to reduce the time taken to make treatment decisions for lung cancer patients which currently can take up to one month between testing and treatment prescription. This delay can cause great distress to the patient and their families, increased costs and can reduce the effectiveness of treatment. The test aims to reduce testing time to less than an hour allowing treatment decisions to be taken within the same hospital appointment.

The technology behind the test is based on a combination of nanoparticles and polymers in a hybrid microfluidic and lateral flow device. This multi-disciplinary project was initiated as a collaboration between Biodonostia HRI and CIC biomaGUNE that was later expanded to include researchers from Polymat and UPV, and more recently researchers from DIPC and CEIT. The project has been funded over the last few years with the generous support of ISCIII and the GV- Department of Health and led to several high impact publications in scientific journals and an approved European-wide patent to protect the technology (also filed in the US, Japan and China). The project has also led to the creation of a spin-off company Indicate Solutions that was formed to exploit and commercialise the technology.

The project is led by Prof. Charles Lawrie, head of the Onocology Research Area of IIS Biodonostia who also serves as the acting CEO of Indicate Solutions. Together with Professor Lawrie participate in the project, among others, Sergio Arana, Chief researcher of Ceit-IK4, Dr. Marek Grzelczak, Chief researcher of THE DIPC and Prof. Luis Liz-Marzan, scientific director of CIC Biomagune. Also involved in the Project are clinicians from HUD, HUC and HUA who will coordinate patient identification and sample collection and provide clinical overview to the project.

Click here to see the recent interview with the researches in El Confidencial (Spanish)