The Biomedical Research in Gynecology group and the Gynecology Service, led by Dr. Eva Colás and Dr. Antonio Gil, have developed WomEC, a kit for the molecularl diagnosis of endometrial cancer that analyzes the expression of a signature of protein biomarkers in uterine fluid. This project has been awarded in different innovation competitions, selected by the Caixa Impulse program, and is now one of the two winning European projects of the Wild Card 2020 program of EIT Health.
MiMARK Diagnostics S.L. was created to boost the development of WomEC with the €1.5M granted by EiT Health, so that the product reaches the market in 2023.
WomEC is a new molecular endometrial cancer diagnostic system that simplifies the process, speeds up the outcome, and reduces cost. It allows a precise diagnosis to be made in the first consultation, thus increasing the anticipation capacity, which translates into a reduction in patient mortality.
Endometrial cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in women and the sixth in mortality in developed countries. With an early and adequate diagnosis, survival can reach 95%. Currently, the diagnosis of endometrial cancer is made by an endometrial biopsy, performed mainly by aspiration, which is then subjected to a histopathological study. One in five patients will not be diagnosed with this procedure due to the lack of representation of cells in the sample. In these cases, a more invasive test is necessary, hysteroscopy, associated in many cases with pain, stress, preoperative tests, anesthesia and possible complications for the patients.
“The diagnosis that is done in the first instance, with an endometrial aspiration biopsy, does not provide a result in 22% of the patients, mainly due to the lack of cellularity in the sample. However, there is always fluid in this sample. With this idea in mind, we started a line of research that has become the identification of a protein biomarker signature that allows diagnosing 100% of patients with a negative predictive value of 97%”, says Dr. Colás, principal investigator of the Biomedical Research in Gynecology group and co-founder of MiMARK.
Dr. Antonio Gil, head of the Gynecology service at the Vall d’Hebron hospital and co-founder of MiMARK, affirms “With the WomEC kit we have achieved a benefit for the patients, for the gynecologists and for the hospital. It improves diagnosis, simplifies the process, reduces the need for invasive diagnosis and speeds up results; in addition to reducing the cost of healthcare. And most importantly, we improve the ability of the doctor to anticipate, to reach a diagnosis as soon as possible and a good treatment, which could impact the quality of life and survival of patients”.
EIT Health is a consortium made up of more than 140 entities from 14 European Union countries committed to innovation in health and its impact on improving the quality of life of the population.
In the third edition of the Wild Card program, they have selected two European projects to receive funding, mentoring and all the necessary support for the projects to reach the market. Together with MiMARK, the Orbit Health project from Germany has been selected, which proposes the use of virtual reality to improve the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.