Biomedical Science Research Excellence

C-TRIC is directly linked with the University of Ulster’s Biomedical Sciences Research Institute which had its international reputation as a world-leader confirmed again for an unprecedented third time when 95% of its research was rated as international, including a quarter being world leading. In the UK wide University Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute was ranked No2.
C-TRIC also draws on the highly rated Bioengineering, Nursing and ICT expertise of the nearby University of Ulster campuses.

Personalized Medicine Capability

Clinical and academic knowledge sharing and facilitated access to clinical materials and data at C-TRIC create a hub for research and development into Personalized Medicine solutions.
C-TRIC provides access to world class research capability in pharmacogenomics and systems biology with a focus on diabetes,
cancer, degenerative diseases and gene- nutrient interactions
(nutrigenomics).

Core facilities include:

  • Bioinformatics/Systems Biology
  • Genomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Proteomics
  • Human interventions Studies unit
  • Clinical Research Facility

Personalized Medicine at C-TRIC

Rheumatoid Arthritis Pharmacogenomics
A novel method utilizing killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) genes for the identification of subjects who are likely to respond to tumour necrosis factor-based therapy providing for a predictive tool with wide clinical utility in the management of autoimmune diseases such as RA.

Advantages

  • Ability to predict patient response to anti-TNF alpha therapy,
  • enabling clinicians to rank patients for treatment “priority”>

  • Cost efficiencies gained through reduction in wastage and better targeting of resources

Nutrigenomics (Riboflavin)

Researchers have developed a novel blood pressure lowering treatment for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) patients possessing a genetic predisposition for hypertension with a higher risk of being resistant to current anti-hypertensive therapies. Following clinical studies in CVD patients and meta-analyses it is estimated that this intervention may lower the risk of heart disease by 29% and stroke by 46%.

Advantages

  • Potential to develop new formulations for existing hypertensive
  • agents coming off patent, extending the lifetime of valuable Intellectual Property

  • Potential for incorporation in combination products to increase efficacy in patients genetically predisposed to hypertension, who are resistant to current treatment in addition to increasing patient compliance and reducing side effects
  • Riboflavin is an essential B vitamin circumventing the need for Phase I&II clinical studies and reducing lead time to regulatory approval.

Prognostic Breast Cancer Survival Signature

Researchers have identified a signature of genes that are all functionally linked to invasion and metastases of breast cancer, and as such are of significant prognostic relevance for predicting the clinical outcome of breast cancer patients. The result is a gene set that can find utility in the identification and stratification of lymph node negative breast cancer patients into two groups:

  • A group that may be treated by regional therapy alone
  • A group likely to develop life threatening tumors and will derive benefit from systematic aggressive chemotherapy.

Advantages

  • A predictive test for invasive behaviour of tumour enabling better clinical decisions
  • Cost efficiencies gained through reduction in wastage and better targeting of resources
  • Patient better informed before making decisions on therapies/surgery

Male Infertility Diagnostic

Researchers have developed a novel test for the identification of azoospermia, a type of male infertility using DNA alone e.g. from a cheek scrape or blood sample.

Recent data have shown that FKBL is expressed in testis in human and mouse and that it is highly conserved. We have found mutations in the gene in azoospermic infertile patients, and have shown that the wild-type protein can enhance Androgen Receptor (AR) signalling in an androgen-responsive cell line, and AR is known to be crucial for male fertility.

As a result of these studies Researchers have developed a functional test for detection and have shown that AR responds more strongly to testosterone when FKBPL is present than when it is not.

Advantages

  • A genetic marker that can form the basis of, or a component of, a genetic test kit.
  • Identification of a cause of infertility leading to more accurate diagnosis, better counselling and treatment.
  • Potential targeting of FKBPL in order to temporarily and reversibly induce infertility in a subject. Such application has potential use in the development of a male contraceptive pill.

Personal Focus, Global Vision

C-TRIC researchers and clinicians continue to focus their efforts into Personalized Medicine applications focusing upon a range of diseases and conditions including colon cancer, prostate cancer and ocular disease.

C-TRIC is seeking industrial and institutional collaborators to translate their research excellence into novel products and services for the global healthcare market.

For further information please contact:

C-TRIC, Altnagelvin Hospital campus, Glenshane Road,
Derry/Londonderry BT47 6SB Northern Ireland, UK

t: +44 (0) 28 7161 1249 e: bp.henderson@c-tric.com w: www.c-tric.com