NEW YORK – SomaLogic said on Monday that it will collaborate with the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
Beginning this quarter, SomaLogic will process samples using its SomaScan assay to help EPIC researchers understand and predict cancer development. In total, the company will analyze 30,000 samples. SomaLogic will use the data from the EPIC study, as well as information from clinical visits and health histories, to develop tools to improve cancer care.
Through its collaboration with EPIC, SomaLogic and Imperial College London will create a Centre for Excellence in Proteomics of Cancer, which will sit within the School of Public Health and continue research into areas of chronic disease supported by proteomic analysis.
"The study of proteins is the missing '-omic' in the study of cancer," EPIC Coordinator and Principal Investigator Elio Riboli, a professor of cancer epidemiology and prevention at ICL, said in a statement. "Having proteomic measurements in our data gives us the strongest case for the integration of genetics, behavior, and environment in improving the prediction of disease."
Jointly coordinated by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer and ICL, the EPIC study recruited 521,000 participants from 10 European countries and includes follow-up data covering 20 years. The study is focused on the impact of diet, nutritional status, and lifestyle and environmental factors on the incidence of various cancers and other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases. Over the EPIC study period of 1992 to 2015, more than 67,000 participants were diagnosed with cancer and the follow-up data continues to be updated.
"Proteomics is a powerful tool in predicting cancer because of its strengths in detecting immune surveillance and the body's response to precancer physiology and environmental exposures," SomaLogic Chief Medical Officer Stephen Williams said in a statement. "EPIC's rich dataset will allow us the chance to explore new ways of predicting cancer."
Last year, SomaLogic signed a collaboration deal with Pittsburgh-based healthcare provider UPMC to explore how proteomic data could be used to inform doctors about patients' health status or disease risk.