Research uses circulating microbiome biomarkers, machine learning for early detection

July 20, 2021 ­­­­– San Diego, Calif. Micronoma, the first cancer detection company to harness tumor-associated circulating microbial biomarkers to diagnose cancer at an early stage via microbiome-driven liquid biopsy technology, today announced  a collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney for a $4 million grant from the Australian Government to fund research into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer.

The collaboration, led by Associate Professor Amany Zekry and Professor Emad El-Omar from UNSW Medicine & Health will enable the development of microbial-based biomarkers powered by artificial intelligence for early detection of liver cancer. Micronoma’s Chief Scientific Officer, Eddie Adams, joins these world-class, multi-disciplinary experts at UNSW in the fields of liver disease, liver cancer, microbiome, metabolomics, and artificial intelligence as a co-principal investigator on the grant.

This research will use machine learning to examine thousands of microbiome plasma features to discover, validate, and translate microbial-derived biomarkers for the early detection of HCC, thus improving the chances of survival of HCC patients and making effective risk disease stratification possible.

“This collaboration with UNSW combines a rare and exciting set of expertise in liver cancer and gut microbiome with our proprietary method of analyzing circulating microbiome signatures. Importantly, being awarded this grant by the Australian Government serves as a strong external validation of our technique and will serve to showcase Micronoma’s unique approach to diagnostics,” Micronoma CEO Sandrine Miller-Montgomery said. “There has been growing interest in the compelling link between circulating microbiome signatures and early detection since our publication in Nature.  Developing a method to enable the identification of robust microbial plasma biomarker signatures of HCC is in our product pipeline and this collaboration enables us to fast-track product development.”        

“Our ongoing collaboration with Micronoma strengthens the innovative potential of this research. Micronoma is currently the only cancer diagnostic company in the world that uses microbial DNA signatures in the blood (mb-DNA) to detect early-stage cancer,” said Professor Zekry. “Their minimally invasive microbiome-driven liquid biopsy approach is focused on detecting early-stage lung cancer and will provide valuable expertise in establishing an HCC-related microbiome platform.”

The diagnostic implications of microbiome markers in liquid and tissue biopsies are extensive, and Micronoma is prepared to lead the way on helping prevent unnecessary suffering caused by later-stage cancer diagnosis, as well as potentially enabling personalized and less invasive treatments at the earliest stages of cancer.

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About Micronoma

Micronoma is the first cancer-detection company using signals from some of the most ancient matter in the world, circulating microbial signatures, to empower clinicians to diagnose cancer at an early stage with minimally invasive, microbiome-driven liquid biopsy technology. Micronoma was founded in 2019 by leaders in microbiome research with the goal of revolutionizing and advancing the practice of early cancer diagnostics and personalized treatment through sensitive microbiome techniques, ensuring that patients’ needs are identified and addressed by their clinicians at the earliest stage for a better chance to live longer, healthier lives. The company is headquartered in San Diego, Calif.