News Release

Ariana Pharma teams together with SIB to discover novel biomarkers for gastric cancer

Business Announcement

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

This collaboration is carried out within the GastricGlycoExplorer consortium, a European Commission funded project. The consortium aims at discovering and developing new diagnostic signatures by characterizing the sugars that are attached to the surface of gastric tissue. "Glycomics" provides a systematic approach for studying sugars that are naturally present on cell surfaces and its application may lead to determine early markers of gastric cancer. Early detection of gastric cancer is likely to have a major impact on patient survival where the current 5-year survival rate is only about 3 out of 10. "Glycomics", one of the latest "omic" sciences, provides a new insight into the complexity of human physiopathology, and has a great potential for the discovery of novel biomarkers.

Gastric cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer in Europe, and yearly about 140,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States. The early detection is a key factor for survival but is still extremely challenging due to the non-specificity of symptoms. Moreover, no reliable biomarkers demonstrated to be of clinical relevance yet.

Ariana Pharma Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mohammad Afshar commented: "We are pleased to participate in this exciting collaboration on a critical health need. The project will enable us to identify novel biomarkers, hopefully leading to an earlier detection of gastric cancer and thus saving patients' lives. It is also an opportunity to extend our Big Data analytics capabilities into glycomics, a promising new field of Omics".

Proteome Informatics Group Leader at SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Dr. Frédérique Lisacek said: "We are very enthusiastic about collaborating with Ariana Pharma and apply their KEM® (Knowledge Extraction and Management) data mining technology to our extensive glycomic knowledge base platforms. This work builds upon my long term interactions with Ariana Pharma's co-founder, Professor Jean Sallantin and his artificial intelligence laboratory at the CNRS."

The consortium will be collecting patients' samples and generate multi-platform data characterizing their glycan and glycoprotein content. Ariana Pharma's role is to identify specific biomarkers related to gastric cancer that may be predictive of different disease stages. To such goal, data mining methods for the automatic data processing of glycomics data will be put in place. The consortium will generate a database as well as web-based tools for automatic processing of glycomics data that may be of great benefit for the scientific community.


About Ariana Pharma - Ariana Pharma develops innovative clinical data analysis and diagnostic testing solutions to help the healthcare sector better adapt patient treatments to individual biological characteristics. Ariana Pharma's KEM® technology enables personalization of therapies, improves the efficacy and safety of patient treatment, reduces risks and drug development costs, and accelerates time to market. KEM® is the only FDA tested technology that systematically explores combinations of biomarkers, producing more effective biomarker signatures for personalized medicine. Founded in 2003 as a spin-off of the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, the company opened a subsidiary in the United States in 2012. For more information, please visit

About SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics - SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an academic not-for-profit foundation recognized of public utility. It federates bioinformatics activities throughout Switzerland. Its mission is to provide world-class core bioinformatics resources and expertise to the national and international life science research community. It has a long-standing tradition of producing state-of-the-art software and carefully annotated databases, such as UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot, the world's most widely used source of information on proteins. SIB also provides leading educational services, data analysis support and bioinformatics research.

SIB includes 56 world-class research and service groups, which bring together more than 650 scientists in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, evolution, population genetics, systems biology, structural biology, biophysics and clinical bioinformatics, located in the Swiss cantons of Basel, Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Ticino, Vaud and Zurich. SIB's expertise is widely appreciated and life scientists all over the world use its services.


Ariana® Pharmaceuticals
Mohammad Afshar, CEO and Founder
28, rue du docteur Finlay
FR-75015 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 37 17 00
m [dot] afshar [at]
SIB Institut Suisse de Bioinformatique

SIB Communication
Quartier Sorge - Bâtiment Génopode
CH-1015 Lausanne
+41 (0)21 692 40 46
communication [at]

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.