The BIOCDx project, funded by H2020-EU.2.1.1. – INDUSTRIAL LEADERSHIP – Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), aims to develop a miniaturized, ultra-sensitive and reliable Point-of-Care (PoC) instrument with disposable microfluidic cartridge for the detection and monitoring of cancer biomarkers in body fluids and specifically in whole blood samples.

LRE Medical will be primarily responsible for the definition, integration and development of the portable, desktop PoC instrument utilizing a next generation ultra-compact, fully functional, miniaturized and easy-to-use optical sensing device in conjunction with the disposable microfluidic cartridge.

Current diagnostic options for cancer treatment monitoring rely on imaging techniques and cannot guarantee proper assessment of therapeutic response. The BIOCDx project aims to develop a disruptive point-of-care system for early cancer detection/diagnosis and treatment monitoring as a companion diagnostics tool. One of the scientific breakthroughs of this project is the development of a "cancer stem cells" detection platform by virtue of expression of the cancer stem cell-specific transcription factor TWIST1, which controls the expression of the bloodstream circulating biomarkers like POSTN. BIOCDx will combine advanced concepts from the photonic, nano-biochemical, micro-fluidic and reader/packaging platforms aiming to overcome limitations related to detection reliability, sensitivity, specificity, compactness and cost issues. A sandwich assay, enhanced with nanoparticles, will be developed, based on the use of two antibodies per protein, to detect all three circulating proteins. This will enhance the limit of detection (LOD) close to femtomolar and the reliability. Its validation in preclinical and clinical setting will be performed in three cancer types: breast cancer, hormone-independent prostate cancer and melanoma.