Biomarkers Discovery in Diabetes: New Biomarkers for Measurement of Early Stage Diabetes Disease and for Prediction of Response to Therapy


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Challenge: Pancreatic islets play a critical role in diabetes development with about 50% of their function being lost by the time pre-diabetic patients are diagnosed. Levels of pancreatic ß-cells are currently approximated through measurements of blood glucose, C-peptide, and insulin levels. There is therefore an urgent need to develop biomarkers that more accurately monitor the physiological status of pancreatic ß-cells, to identify early pre-diabetic subjects and propose early treatment.

Solution: Caprion Biosciences, a leader in proteomics analysis has used its ProteoCarta proteomic platform to conduct an extensive analysis of pancreatic proteins secreted normally and under disease conditions from humans and animal models of diabetes. The team identified a panel of pancreatic ß-cell biomarkers to follow the function (128 BCF markers) and mass (200 BCM markers) of pancreatic cells in blood samples of diabetic patients. By analyzing the blood of 42 diabetic patients treated with different metformin modalities, Caprion also identified more than 150 treatment efficacy biomarkers (TEM). Validation of the BCF and BCM markers was performed on prediabetic and diabetic patients and led to the identification of a panel of 30 blood-based pancreatic ß-cell biomarkers which, when used in various combinations, can separate clinical cohorts at various stages of disease progression with high accuracy (>75 %).

Achievements/Impacts: These findings provided a solid proof of concept that pancreatic ß-islet and blood biomarkers can  effectively help diagnose and monitor disease progression as well as predict early response to treatment. These biomarkers thus represent the first tool that can directly assess the health of pancreatic cells. This project allowed Caprion to develop an expertise in diabetes, resulting in important service contracts with three major pharmaceutical companies.

Principal Investigator:
Eustache Paramithiotis
Caprion Biosciences
Co-investigators :
Marc Prentki
Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret
Institut de recherches cliniques
de Montréal
Completed Project
$2,365,000 / 3 years
Supported by CQDM through:
– AstraZeneca
– Merck
– Pfizer
And by co-funding partner:
– Caprion Biosciences
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