Why we urgently need new liver disease biomarkers

Liver disease rarely makes the headlines, yet it is one of the leading causes of human mortality, resulting in almost 2 million deaths per year globally – many of which could be prevented by early detection. There are over 100 types of liver disease, which together affect at least 2 million people in the UK.

It recently came to prominence following the tragic death of fomer British tennis champion Elena Baltacha, aged 30, from liver cancer. She had been diagnosed  at 19 with the chronic liver condition primary sclerosing cholangitis, which compromises the immune system.

 Abcodia, the award winning biomarker-validation company which is working collaboratively to develop advanced biomarkers for early cancer screening and diagnosis of lung, pancreatic, breast and colorectal cancer, as well commercialising ROCA for ovarian cancer screening, has launched a new liver disease initiative.

Biomarker panels are available for diagnosing late-stage liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis), but they are not effective for early diagnosis. There is therefore an urgent need for new serological biomarkers which can accurately detect liver disease throughout its progression.

Abcodia has exclusive access to commercialise IP generated from a biobank derived from 202,000 healthy female volunteers who participated in the ten-year UKCTOCS trial. During this time a number of the women developed both early and late-stage liver disease, and a large at-risk population who showed abnormal results on liver function or imaging tests.

Abcodia is actively seeking commercial and academic partners to advance biomarker discovery, diagnostic validation and risk-stratification in liver disease. Liver biopsy is currently the ‘gold standard’ for diagnosis, but it is invasive, painful, expensive, and often inaccurate – and alternatives are limited. New advanced and effective biomarkers are urgently needed. Please email for further details.

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