Noted Cancer Researcher Appointed SmartState Endowed Chair of Proteomic Biomarkers at MUSC

Contact: Grace Hummel

Sept 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – A leader in the development of glycoproteomic technologies for the discovery of novel cancer biomarkers is the new SmartState Endowed Chair of Proteomic Biomarkers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Anand Mehta, who received his doctorate in philosophy degree in biochemistry from the University of Oxford, joins MUSC and Hollings Cancer Center from Drexel University College of Medicine.

“We are very excited about Dr. Anand Mehta coming to join MUSC and the Hollings Cancer Center,” said Anthony Alberg, interim director of the Hollings Cancer Center. “There are currently no proven methods for the early detection of liver cancer, and Dr. Mehta’s research has yielded promising findings. Dr. Mehta’s unique research expertise will synergize nicely with existing expertise within the center to accelerate the tempo of his important research.”

The research fills an important gap since there are no good early-detection biomarker tests available for liver cancer and those available for later-stage disease are much less accurate. It is expected that this test will be recommended for patients considered at high risk of liver cancer, such as individuals diagnosed with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, fatty liver disease, and those with high volumes of alcohol consumption.

Mehta’s work has resulted in 79 peer-reviewed published papers and the identification of over 50 patented biomarkers for the detection of curable early-stage liver cancer and other life- threatening liver diseases. Utilizing the biomarkers identified in his lab, Mehta and team have developed a diagnostic test, currently in commercialization with Glycotest, Inc., a NetScientific portfolio company that shows promise in the ability to detect hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of liver cancer, 90 percent of the time through a simple blood test.

On average, the five-year survival rate for liver cancer is only 18 percent, and the biomarkers currently on the market are only able to detect liver cancer 50 percent of the time.

The Mehta laboratory developed a targeted glycoproteomics strategy to identify novel HCC biomarkers and subsequently developed simple plate-based assays to measure these altered forms in blood, using these biomarkers together with standard clinical factors to better identify those who have cancer. Glycotest Inc. has licensed and plans to commercialize Mehta’s biomarkers by the end of the year.

“Moving forward, we hope to use these biomarkers to guide the treatment needed to fight the disease, not just detect it,” says Mehta. Because this test can be commercialized, we can go beyond what we do in a laboratory and bring this to the clinic where it can be used to help people with liver disease”.

About Glycotest, Inc.
Glycotest is a private liver disease diagnostics company commercializing novel clinical laboratory testing services for patients at risk for liver cancers and fibrosis–cirrhosis. The company was founded in 2012 on proprietary technology that originated at the Philadelphia-area institutions Baruch S. Blumberg Institute and Drexel University College of Medicine. Learn more at Glycotest.

About NetScientific
NetScientific, the parent company of Glycotest, Inc., is a biomedical and health care technology group that funds and develops technologies that offer transformative benefits to society through improved diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Learn more at NetScientific.

About Hollings Cancer Center
The Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer research program in South Carolina. The cancer center is comprised of more than 120 faculty cancer scientists with a research funding portfolio of $44 million and a dedication to reducing the cancer burden in South Carolina. Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques within multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and other specialists equipped for the full range of cancer care, including more than 200 clinical trials. For more information, please visit Hollings Cancer Center.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges and has more than 17,000 employees. As the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center and largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $3.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of nearly $4 billion and annual research funding in excess of $284 million.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina.