Proteomic data company SomaLogic announced it will provide 210 million protein measurements to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study to help develop a set of protein biomarkers predictive of cancer and other disease.
SomaLogic will use its SomaScan Assay and SomaScan platform to analyze more than 30,000 samples collected over 15 years of clinical interactions to develop the protein measurements with the aim of creating a fundamental understanding of protein interactions and how they affect cancer progression to inform both the development of therapeutics and screening and diagnostics tools. The SomaScan Platform is the first large-scale, multi-disease proteomics study to be conducted in the EPIC cohort.
“Proteomics is a powerful tool in predicting cancer because of its strengths in detecting immune surveillance and the body’s response to precancer physiology and environmental exposures,” said Stephen A. Williams, SomaLogic chief medical officer. “EPIC’s rich data set will allow us the chance to explore new ways of predicting cancer.”
As part of its work with EPIC, SomaLogic, in concert with Imperial College London, will create a Centre for Excellence in Proteomics of Cancer. The center will be housed within the School of Public Health to foster continued research into chronic diseases leveraging proteomic data analyses.
EPIC is one of the largest cohort studies in the world. It has enrolled with 521,000 participants from 10 European countries and and includes follow-up data covering 20 years. The study is focused on the impact of diet, nutritional status, and lifestyle and environmental factors on the incidence of various cancers and other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Over the EPIC study period of 1992–2015, more than 67,000 participants were diagnosed with cancer. The study is jointly coordinated by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and Imperial College London.
“The study of proteins is the missing ‘-omic’ in the study of cancer,” said EPIC Coordinator and Principal Investigator Elio Riboli, a professor of cancer epidemiology and prevention at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health. “Having proteomic measurements in our data gives us the strongest case for the integration of genetics, behavior and environment in improving the prediction of disease.”
While SomaLogic will contribute its analytic capabilities to the EPIC study, it will use the proteomic information it derives, along with clinical and health history of patients to help develop tools that will inform and improve cancer care. The company currently works with 22 databanks around the world to provide proteomics data to support investigations into human health. The company works with a range of stakeholders in the healthcare space including researchers, healthcare systems, physicians, and payers.
Other collaborations have included work with deCode, a division of Amgen, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, the University of Pittsburg Medical Center (UPMC), and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center among others.
In February, the company entered a research collaboration similar to it’s work with EPIC to analyze 105 million protein measurements as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH. Data from the MESA study, as well as information from clinical visits and health histories, will be used to further validate the company’s SomaSignal tests, for cardiovascular disease, diabetes risk, and NASH.