The KTD-innov* project continues to advance in the development of an activity diagnostic system and of the kidney graft rejection stage. To achieve this goal, a new partner joined the consortium at the end of 2020: Sebia, a leader in protein separation techniques applied to in vitro diagnostics. Interview on the new markers with Pierre Sonigo, Director of Research & Development, and the research team.
A hospital-university-industry collaboration to improve the care of kidney transplant patients
Sebia’s inclusion in the project will make it possible to work on the accessibility of the software and products stemming from KTD-innov research. “With Sebia, we bring an industrial vision to the KTD-innov project and the possibility of leveraging clinical research applied to patient care”, explains Pierre Sonigo. “These RHUs are very well made because they put the patient at the centre of research and bring the various players together to achieve it”.
While the pharmaceutical industry sometimes has a bad image, Pierre Sonigo insists on the importance of such a partnership to bring research out of laboratories and make it accessible: “We are the intermediary between research and the patient on a large scale. To make a product accessible to patients, the real industrial challenge is the ability to produce tests for patients in large quantities, while guaranteeing the best possible quality”.
This permanent and large-scale drive for quality is one of the challenges of Sebia’s participation in the KTD-innov project. This very specific industrial activity requires a great deal of expertise to validate the performance of diagnostic tests outside the laboratory.
Sebia’s participation is an essential key to give meaning to the KTD-innov project and to “buckle the loop”. According to Pierre Sonigo, “we start from the patient, then we involve different operators committed to this research project, to ultimately provide the patient with a new service”.
Sebia's technological expertise at the service of the KTD-innov projecT
As part of the KTD-innov project, Sebia wishes to play a major role in the finding of new markers that will be tested. “It is Sebia’s interest in this clinically important research that motivated us to participate in the KTD-innov project”, Pierre Sonigo explains. “Sebia has technologies that are very well-suited to the search for these inflammation markers, which are complementary to what already exists in KTD-innov, particularly in molecular biology. Electrophoresis – the technology mastered by Sebia – enables us to have access to a number of molecules that are scarcely visible elsewhere, and to keep an overview of inflammatory and metabolic changes”.
Georges Nouadje, R&D Manager at Sebia, explains that “it is the versatility of our technology that lets us address different biological media and to target molecules according to specific needs. This cutting-edge technology allows us to scan a very broad spectrum of molecules in biological fluids, and to generate information that can be useful to the clinician. This technology also enables us work on the most complex media possible, unlike other existing technologies. By modifying a number of parameters and chemical compounds, we can, with the same instrument, address a very wide spectrum of analytes”.
Sebia’s objective in the KTD-innov project: to deliver a diagnostic tool for patients and clinicians
Sebia’s electrophoresis technology is therefore very complementary to what has been implemented by KTD-innov’s academic teams. Sebia’s unique asset also lies in that teams, in addition to relying on the data available from the KTD-innov project, draw on the history of their own research work.
“It is very important for Sebia to show that we are involved in research and development for the discovery of these new markers”, said Elie Hatem. “In addition, the protein electrophoresis technology mastered by our teams is complementary to other approaches such as genomics or proteomics”.
This search for new markers is in line with Sebia’s strategy today, which focuses on new ways of processing data around artificial intelligence.
“Experiment-building is a very important aspect of the KTD-innov project”, adds Pierre Sonigo. “Through data processing, we are trying to develop tools that can bring to the less experienced clinician the whole experience around clinical and biological data, along with information about a given patient”.
The set of technologies developed by Sebia around data management in the detection of new molecules enables them to bring essential know-how to KTD-innov. “Participating in an exciting and stimulating project like KTD-innov is not only rewarding”, concludes Pierre Sonigo, “but it also is an opportunity to further research, and to transfer our knowledge and know-how to achieve diagnostic tools that will be useful to patients and clinicians”.
* The KTD-innov project aims to better understand the immunological mechanisms around kidney graft and to improve the diagnosis of graft rejection by collecting, centralizing and analysing clinical, biological and immunological data from thousands of kidney transplant patients in France. Research teams, clinical centres and industrial partners are currently collaborating on the project. Find out more.
To elucidate the mechanisms of success or failure of a kidney transplant, KTD-innov collects, centralizes and analyses clinical, biological and immunological data from thousands of kidney transplant patients in France.