- This pioneering test aids oncologists in predicting recurrence and survival rates in breast cancer patients and potential treatment eligibility to bisphosphonates.
- Results showing the clinical utility of the test have been published in Lancet Oncology and the Journal of National Cancer Institute.
- The MAF Test® is now available to oncologists and pathologists in Sub-Saharan Africa and will benefit an estimated 10,200 new patients each year just in South Africa.
- This agreement follows Inbiomotion’s recent distribution partnership for Spain and Portugal with Palex Medical.
The Scientific Group, a leader in the IVD industry, and Inbiomotion, a company commercializing its proprietary MAF Test® for identifying high risk early-stage breast cancer patients have signed an agreement to start marketing MAF Test® in Sub-Saharan Africa. The MAF Test® predicts the prognosis of breast cancer patients and helps oncologists to identify those patients who may be able to prevent recurrence and benefit from adjuvant treatment with bisphosphonates, which are commonly used to treat osteoporosis. The test also identifies those patients whose prognosis would worsen if treated with bisphosphonates.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women, with more than globally 2 million new cases diagnosed each year. Approximately 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and, of these, 15-20% will eventually develop metastases. Having the capacity to identify those patients with a higher risk of recurrence and being able to personalize their treatment is vital for their survival and quality of life. The annual incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be over 120,000 patients per year.
Thanks to this agreement, MAF Test® will now be available in Sub-Saharan Africa and considering just South Africa it could increase the survival of 8 out of 10 of the 10,200 early-stage breast cancer patients diagnosed each year.
Michelle Oosthuizen, Managing Director of The Scientific Group, assures that "With the collaboration between TSG and Inbiomotion we are committed to improving early detection of Breast Cancer and dedicated to the best patient treatment and outcome, saving lives".
Ralf van den Berg, Chief Operating Officer of Inbiomotion comments, "We are thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with The Scientific Group, a landmark collaboration that reinforces our dedication to improving healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa. This alliance is a major stride forward in enhancing diagnostic capabilities and elevating healthcare outcomes for early breast cancer patients. We eagerly anticipate a fruitful partnership with The Scientific Group, aiming to empower healthcare professionals and create a positive and lasting impact on the lives of individuals across Sub-Saharan Africa".
Results showing the clinical utility of MAF Test® were generated using patient biopsies from two landmark clinical trials, each with more than 3,000 patients (AZURE and NSABP-B34). These results were published in The Lancet Oncology (2017) and the Journal of National Cancer Institute (2021) respectively, where it was shown that 80% of patients with breast tumors had MAF-negative tumors and that being treated with clodronate or zoledronic acid increased their disease-free survival by 14.3% and decreased their relative risk of death by 21.4%. In contrast, patients with MAF-positive tumors had no benefit, or even worse prognosis, from treatment with bisphosphonates (clodronate or zoledronic acid), irrespective of their menopausal status.
This announcement follows a recent publication in Nature Cell Biology of key data further elucidating the biology around the MAF biomarker. A team from IRB Barcelona led by ICREA researcher Dr. Roger Gomis, co-founder of Inbiomotion, revealed in such publication the mechanism by which the MAF protein increases the risk of metastasis in breast cancer patients. This finding is a crucial step in understanding the molecular basis of metastasis and has relevant clinical implications for treatment.
Inbiomotion is a spin-off of IRB Barcelona and ICREA, founded in 2011 by Dr. Roger Gomis, following the identification of the MAF gene as a biomarker to predict bone metastasis in breast cancer. Inbiomotion has developed a diagnostic kit based on the detection of MAF gene amplification, the MAF Test®, to promote precision medicine and improve the treatment of breast cancer patients. The company holds more than 200 patents and patent applications covering its proprietary MAF Test® FISH and the use of bisphosphonates in the adjuvant treatment of early-stage breast cancer patients. The company's main investors are Ysios Capital, Caixa Capital Risc, Alta Life Sciences and the Vila Casas Foundation. For more information, please visit www.inbiomotion.com.
About The Scientific Group
The Scientific Group is a Clinical Diagnostic and Life Science company with 40 years’ experience in the professional sales and service of instruments, reagents and consumables in the scientific and diagnostic healthcare industries throughout Africa.
About the MAF gene
MAF (mesenchymal aponeurotic fibrosarcoma gene, a transcription factor of the AP-1 family) is amplified in primary cancer tumors. It is associated with increased metastasis, especially bone metastasis. MAF transcriptionally controls genes such as PTHrP, which regulates metastasis-related cellular processes such as survival, initiation, metabolic rewiring and adhesion to bone marrow-derived cells and osteoclast differentiation. MAF protein interacts with the estrogen receptor, a key element in the development of breast cancer, modifying its structure. This interaction leads to DNA restructuring, which allows the activation of genes that favor metastasis, particularly in response to estrogen. These observations indicate that the MAF gene has a key hierarchical role in metastasis. The MAF gene has been found to be amplified in 20% of breast cancer patients. In the case of patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, having amplified (MAF positive) or not (MAF negative) MAF has been associated with a very different response to bisphosphonate treatment, significantly impacting the survival of patients who are MAF negative.
About IRB Barcelona
The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to offer pioneering solutions to unresolved medical needs in cancer and other diseases related to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).