Biomarker Testing and Analysis: Quantitate Biological/Pathogenic Processes or Pharmacologic Response to Therapy in the Body
Biomarker testing assesses the impact of a drug/compound on the human body. Biomarkers are measurable indicators of biological processes in normal and pathological conditions, or in response to pharmacological intervention. Biomarkers are used extensively in the drug discovery process to evaluate the health of a person or the efficacy of a treatment. Biomarkers can be measured in any biological sample, such as tissue, bodily fluids, blood, etc. Biomarker testing occurs at all stages of the drug discovery process and allows scientists to identify robust biomarkers and accurately measure the state of that biomarker in any given individual.
As an example, biomarker testing has been used extensively in drug discovery and treatment of cancer. Cancers are typically the result of changes in the genetic material of a cell. Biomarkers have been used to identify these changes associated with various cancers. One use of cancer biomarkers is in evaluating the impact of a drug/compound on the growth of cancer cells. During biomarker discovery for cancer, changes in the genome, abnormal features, or biochemical effects of the tumor are assessed to identify reproducible signs of the disease. Biomarker analysis relies on the measurement of previously identified biomarkers to categorize samples by stage of disease or efficacy of treatment.
Biomarker research is divided into three types based on the molecules being analyzed – gene, chromosome, and biochemical markers. Gene biomarker testing evaluates mutations within a gene and extra, missing, or incorrect copy number of genes. Chromosome testing analyzes changes at the chromosome level, including deleted, switched, or expanded chromosomal sequences. In biochemical biomarker testing, scientists measure changes in protein quantity or function.
Once biomarker validation is achieved, the biomarker is utilized in drug development for disease identification and/or treatment options. Biomarker discovery is critical in concept and safety studies for drug development. During the initial phase of drug discovery and development, biomarker research helps in identifying a suitable dose range. This is achieved by evaluating the effect of a specific dose of a drug on the biomarker. Safety biomarkers, on the other hand, are essential to ensure the safe functioning of body organs, such as liver and kidneys, during drug treatment. Throughout drug development and the preclinical/clinical trials, biomarker analysis helps in maintaining the safety profile and measuring the efficacy of a drug compound.
Biomarker Assay: From Drug Discovery and Preclinical to Clinical Phases
Biomarker assays are essential for drug discovery and development as they aid in drug candidate selection and measure drug function. Since biomarker assays offer the basis for early drug efficacy, it is imperative to select the right biomarker. Northeast BioLab offers biomarker assay development services for drug discovery, preclinical, and clinical phases.
It is possible to meaningfully accelerate drug development with the selection of correct biomarker and identification of optimal biomarker assays. Although there are many steps before a drug candidate reaches the market, accurate and early biomarker validation enhances decision-making during every phase of drug development. NorthEast BioLab assists in establishing an early efficacy window for a potential drug candidate through robust biomarker development and validation, thus eliminating the unavoidable, yet predictable, side-effects of a drug product.
Biomarker assay validation in preclinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic models validate the efficacy of the dose for clinical trials. Put differently, our scientists utilize biomarkers in animal studies to understand the duration and effect of exposure to a drug compound in animal studies. Additionally, biomarkers are used in preclinical models to evaluate the optimum dose for clinical trials. Preclinical biomarker assays test plasma concentration of the compound and corresponding target activity at the site of action.
Biomarker assays are critical during clinical trials. Initially, biomarkers are used to specify the inclusion criteria used for human volunteers. During clinical trials, biomarkers can be tracked to measure safety and efficacy, a critical process for drug approval. Biomarkers are also crucial in measuring disease progression during drug treatment. NorthEast BioLab conducts the assay development and validation to identify accurate biomarkers.