Circulating miRNAs as Novel Biomarkers for Cancer Detection
MicroRNAs constitute a recently discovered class of non-coding RNAs that play key roles in the regulation of gene expression. Since its first discovery in human in 2001, over 2,600 different human miRNAs have been identified by scientists. Many miRNAs have essential functions in living cells and abnormal amounts of miRNA in the human body can cause diseases such as cancer.
Recently, scientists discovered that miRNAs are not confined within human cells but can be actively released into the body’s circulatory system. These so-called circulating miRNAs have been detected in body fluids such as blood, tears, saliva, and urine. Clinical studies also show that blood miRNA profiles of cancer patients are markedly different from those of healthy people because cancer cells release abnormal amounts of certain miRNAs into the bloodstream. Therefore, a person’s blood miRNA profile can reveal if he or she has cancerous cells in the body.
Based on this principle, Ark is leveraging a best-in-class miRNA quantification technology to develop non-invasive blood tests for early detection of various cancers. Our cancer detection products utilise circulating miRNAs as novel biomarkers for cancer detection. miRNAs can be more sensitive for early cancer detection than conventional protein biomarkers and other newer liquid biopsy biomarkers such as circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) and circulating tumour cells (CTCs).
Detecting miRNAs with Our Core Technology
miRNAs are hard to detect because of their small size and unique biological characteristics. Ark’s cancer detection products are built on an ultra-sensitive quantitative PCR (qPCR) technology which we have optimized to detect miRNA biomarkers with class-leading specificity.
miRNA detection assays based on qPCR are more sensitive than those built around other miRNA detection technologies like microarrays and sequencing. Our proprietary qPCR technology has been validated in research labs and clinical studies around the world.
Leveraging Big Data for Biomarker Discovery
Ark’s miRNA cancer biomarker panels are based on large-scale clinical investigations involving more than 40,000 cancer patients and healthy individuals to date. These studies were carried out in collaboration with leading oncology experts from top cancer institutes around the world.
We discovered the strongest and most robust miRNA biomarkers for blood-based detection of cancer by applying machine learning to this vast database of clinical miRNA measurements and patient information.
Backed by Stringent Quality Control and Production Standards
Ark’s liquid biopsy tests for cancer detection are backed by stringent pre-analytical quality control to ensure the best sample quality for accurate test results. Ark has also optimized research and clinical workflows to ensure that our cancer detection tests are simple and practical, yet uncompromising in quality. Our products are manufactured under ISO 13485:2016 quality standards and have been CE marked for in-vitro diagnostics (IVD).