EpiDirect - PentaBase

Danish DNA technology has received international recognition

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The Danish company PentaBase is behind a technology that makes it easier and faster to give treatment to cancer patients - and makes it possible to detect the cancer much earlier. This technology has now reached the renowned journal, Nature, which has published an article on the new and ground-breaking method of analyzing DNA material.

The Danish company PentaBase is behind a genuine world first when it comes to cancer treatment. PentaBase has developed a completely new DNA technology that makes it easier and faster to detect, among other things, cancer. A technology that has now found its way to the columns of the internationally recognized journal Nature Communications.

PentaBase is a research-based company specializing in DNA technology and genetic analysis. For many years, it has been the company's ambition to make world-class cancer diagnostics, and they have had a strategy of constant development so that this ambition can be realised. Ulf Bech Christensen, owner and director of PentaBase, says:

- We want to improve treatment and prevention for the individual person by making genetic diagnostics better and more accurate. So it is our vision that each person is treated in the best possible way for the individual patient.

The publication in Nature Communications and the technology described herein mark an important milestone in PentaBase's research development. It is also an international recognition of the company's results - as Nature Communications is one of the world's leading journals on high-level scientific research. The publication is the result of a collaboration between PentaBase and business PhD Kamilla Bendixen, University of Southern Denmark and a private research hospital in Switzerland.

Technology turns days into hours

The technology that PentaBase has developed can be used to analyze so-called epigenetic changes in DNA in patients with glioblastoma, which is the most frequent form of brain tumor in Denmark. The analysis provides a precise conclusion as to whether the DNA material is methylated or unmethylated. Methylation is one of the most widespread epigenetic changes, and it is knowledge about this change in the DNA that is crucial to being able to set the prognosis for and choose treatment for cancer patients.

In the past, it has been dependent on carrying out a prior and time-consuming chemical treatment of the sample material before the analysis can be carried out. But with the technology that PentaBase presents, you can now skip the initial step and have a result ready within just two hours - instead of having to wait several days, which is the standard at the moment.

It makes a big difference in optimizing the treatment that can be given to cancer patients - and that is exactly what PentaBase focuses on. Ulf Bech Christensen points out that their technology has great significance for patients:

- This means that in the long term we can monitor cancer patients based on a blood test - and can see if the treatment they started yesterday is working today. We can detect cancer much earlier. And we can detect a possible recurrence of a cancer that has already been operated on.

Investments have paved the way

PentaBase has received co-financing from the Innovation Fund's Business PhD program and Eurostars. Eurostars is a European collaboration under the EU's Horizon Europe Partnership for Innovative SMEs, of which Innovation Fund Denmark is a part and co-finances Danish partners. According to Ulf Bech Christensen, the investments have played a major role in the ground-breaking results:

- The technology was originally discovered during a Eurostars project. The good thing about these fundings has been that they have had flexibility - it has been possible to apply to use the funds in a way so that we could put more effort into pursuing our discovery. So the investment has been incredibly important because there has been a focus on the future and not just on a return here and now.

Read the publication in Nature Communications here .

The Innovation Fund's investments in the projects

2018: Eurostars
Budget: 3,144,000.00 million DKK
Partners: PentaBase and DTU

2021: Business Ph.D.
Budget: 1,072,000.00 million DKK
Partners: PentaBase and University of Southern Denmark