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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

Development of Novel Biomarker Blood Tests for COPD

  • Project Leaders: Don Sin, Bruce McManus
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $1597157
  • Program/Competition: Applied Genomics Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Status: Closed

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic, progressive disease that results in damaged lung airways, making it difficult to breathe.  Patients suffer “lung attacks” (exacerbations), characterized by coughing, breathlessness and a dramatic increase in sputum. If caught early enough?or, better yet, prevented?these lung attacks can be effectively treated with medication. Lung attacks reduce patient quality of life and cost the Canadian health care system nearly $4 billion each year in direct and indirect costs. Through a previous partnership with GlaxoSmithKline and leading COPD physicians, the team had already identified transcriptomic and proteomic biomarkers that may predict COPD exacerbation.  Efforts to replicate results with these markers in patients from a new clinical program indicated that there is likely to be a distinct transcriptomic signature that can identify patients who will imminently exacerbate.  The work has been extended through a Genome Canada project that is allowing the team to attempt to replicate the results of the prognostic biomarkers in other cohorts and to develop a new blood test to diagnosis acute exacerbation.