Geneoscopy has developed a novel methodology to reliably and consistently extract stool-derived eukaryotic RNA (seRNA) transcripts and detect changes in gene expression. This provides Geneoscopy a platform to harness the power of seRNA to detect, prevent, and guide treatment for gastrointestinal disease. Geneoscopy is currently developing a diagnostic test for the detection and prevention of colorectal cancer in human and a diagnostic test to differentiate GI lymphoma from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats. Geneoscopy is also exploring the use of its technology for other gastrointestinal applications in both humans and animals.
DNA mutations can demonstrate hereditary risk or predict the likelihood of developing a specific disease, but they cannot provide phenotypic or quantitative information related to the symptoms of disease or the body’s molecular response. This information is necessary for clinical decision-making and better health outcomes. RNA provides a real-time snapshot of what is occurring in the body, allowing for accurate interpretation of DNA variants and a better assessment of the patient’s current health status.
Human cells are constantly being shed from the gastrointestinal lining and passed in the stool. For common gastrointestinal diseases (colorectal cancer, GI lymphoma, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease), these cells have the unique capability to provide early warnings signs and critical information about the condition long before the release of molecular signals into the bloodstream or other parts of the body.
Isolation of seRNA is extremely difficult due to extensive bacterial noise and heavy signal degradation. Bacterial cells outnumber host cells at a ratio of 100:1, making isolation of the eukaryotic signals challenging. Further, the single-stranded nature of RNA makes it less stable and hard to preserve. These characteristics limit the effectiveness of high throughput sequencing and targeted pull-down for downstream applications. Geneoscopy's extraction method eliminates bacterial noise, enriches for host signals, and effectively preserves intact RNA.
Compared with DNA biomarkers, RNA biomarkers have the advantage of providing dynamic insights into cellular states and regulatory processes.
RNA has multiple copies in a cell, which delivers more information than DNA.
– MDPI Review
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths, resulting in over 50,000 deaths annually. Colorectal cancer’s high mortality rate is due, in part, to flaws in existing methodologies to screen for the disease. Colonoscopies are the gold standard for detection, but they require patients to take time off from work and to undergo an inconvenient bowel preparation, so many patients avoid them. On the other hand, existing noninvasive alternatives are unreliable due to low accuracy rates.
Geneoscopy has used its platform technology to develop a stool-based, multi-target RNA biomarker panel that can accurately identify colorectal cancer by capturing the downstream effects of cancer-causing DNA mutations. The result is a diagnostic test that can improve colorectal cancer screening compliance, facilitate early-stage detection of colorectal cancer neoplasms, and reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the disease.
At least 60-70 million Americans are affected each year by digestive diseases at a cost that exceeds $100 billion in direct medical expenses.
In 2009, 245,921 deaths were attributable to an underlying gastrointestinal cause.