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What is a biomarker?

A biomarker is a measurable indicator of disease or a specific condition in a patient, such as chemical or structural alterations in tissues and the composition of body fluids. Many, if not all, of the prevalent human diseases are associated with specific biomarkers.

New and improved laboratory technologies enable us to make fast molecular and cellular analyses. Furthermore, new computational methods allow us to combine large datasets in a meaningful manner and provide a much stronger diagnostic prediction for each individual patient. 

By combining these technologies with new innovative bedside detection principles, it is envisioned that this type of diagnostic prediction will become accessible to any person at risk. Importantly, a detailed profiling of molecular alteration will elucidate the aetiology of the disease and provide new target leads for molecular intervention. 

Why does ODIN focus on biomarkers?

The biomarker theme will have a significant impact on some of the major societal challenges we are facing in ageing populations where cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases continue to become more prevalent. Earlier detection of these diseases will dramatically increase the therapeutic success rate. 

Furthermore, by studying the connection between the biomarker and disease course, new therapeutic targets will become available to participating companies for further commercialisation and economic benefit of the country.