I was introduced to Oxford Biodynamics by a good friend a few years ago. He was animated as he explained how this small biotech company based in Oxford had a unique technology that could accurately identify individuals within a population with different characteristics. Put simply, he said the technology would be able to determine which patients have a particular disease, which patients are likely to respond to treatment and which patients with a particular disease might deteriorate rapidly. It can also determine in a matter of weeks, rather than months, who is responding to treatment and for those who have had a particular disease how likely is it to return.
Quite amazing really and, if proven to work, of huge benefit to patients, medical practitioners and pharmaceutical companies. The science is focussed on the study of Chromosome Confirmation Signatures, which are the 3D structures formed by DNA around chromatin. These structures create their own signatures and cause many of the interactions which take place within a cell. Oxford Biodynamics have created a quick and efficient technology for identifying these ‘Chromosome Confirmation Signatures’ and what they indicate. This technology is called EpiSwitch and can identify very accurate biomarkers.
Oxford Biodynamics’s EpiSwitch technology has been chosen as the biomarker platform for prognostic and predictive profiling of COVID-19 patients in the GETAFIX clinical study. They have been asked to help identify patients at risk of severe immune complications and those patients who can benefit from treatment with the anti-viral favipiravir. Their work will help contribute to the global efforts to combat the virus and its wider effects.
Many congratulations to all the team at Oxford Biodynamics involved in this important work.