Biomarker Development to Target Leading Cause of Hospital Stays

The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Program at the Prevention of Organ Failure Centre of Excellence  (PROOF Centre)  is working towards identifying blood-based COPD biomarkers that will allow a physician to determine which patient will undergo frequent exacerbation episodes (often called “lung attacks”), thus allowing for more effective management and reducing hospital visits and costs.

Currently, physicians lack objective measurements to accurately risk-stratify patients and monitor the effectiveness of interventions provided for their patients. The only test in clinical use is lung function measured by forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). However, FEV1 has limited utility because it cannot separate the different phenotypes nor reliably predict those who will exacerbate from those who will not.

The COPD team at the PROOF Centre is using samples from GlaxoSmithKline’s Evaluation of COPD Longitudinally to Identify Predictive Surrogate End-points (ECLIPSE) study cohort to identify blood biomarkers that predict COPD exacerbations via non-targeted approaches (Affymetrix microarrays and iTRAQ proteomics, for genes and proteins, respectively). Proven, rigorous analytical procedures are then applied to identify biomarker sets that perform well.

Biomarker panels will then be validated on a separate set of patients from the ECLIPSE cohort. The resulting validated biomarkers will be used to assist in new therapeutic developments used in clinical care.