About Glycanostics

Company OverviewInovationsTeam

Company Overview

Glycanostics is an innovative start-up company established in 2017 to bring its revolutionary cancer diagnostics products to the US and EU markets. The company was founded by two remarkable scientists Jan Tkac, DSc and Tomas Bertok, PhD who got international recognition for their scientific works, prestigious grants and awards winners such as Scientists of the year (Slovakia), European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator grant, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions ITN, Qatar National Research Fund.

The mission of Glycanostics is to establish glycan-based, accurate, affordable and non-invasive tests for cancer diagnostics in early stages which could save thousands of people’s lives and prevent unnecessary treatment. Diagnostics is done by the analysis of glycan changes on specific proteins like a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a non-invasive way i.e. directly in human serum. Thus, molecular changes of the proteins like PSA are applied for cancer diagnostics. The tests are designed to help doctors to make a proper decision about a need to perform a biopsy or to check the patient after the biopsy which misses 30% of prostate cancer patients. Prostate cancer disease can be treatable and early diagnostics is the key!

Glycanostics product portfolio includes prostate cancer kit and home test. The cancer kit is in the pre-clinical validation stage, so far showing 95+% accuracy (100% assay sensitivity and 94% assay specificity), which is much more accurate than the most commonly used PSA test (83% assay sensitivity and 39% assay specificity).

Innovations

The glycomics after genomics and proteomics is often denoted as the third alphabet of molecular biology. Glycans possess much higher combinatorial potential than nucleic acids and proteins, so glycans can carry and code biological information at high density.

The “glycocode deciphering“ is done by analysis of glycan changes on specific proteins like a prostate specific antigen (PSA) in a non-invasive way i.e. directly in human serum. Thus, molecular changes of the proteins like PSA are applied for cancer diagnostics. The tests will be designed to help urologists making a proper decision about a need to perform a biopsy.

Glycanostics is developing assay kits for other type of cancer, ex. breast cancer, and non-oncological diseases as well.

Patents

IP portfolio covers two European patent applications directed to the concept of the invention (translated into method, use and kits claims) as well as diagnosis of prostate cancer by glycoprofiling.

EP 18 163 899.0. / The concept of the invention (translated into method, use and kits claims) built the basis for a priority-establishing application, which was done and already filed.

EP 18 171 987.3 / Diagnosis of prostate cancer by glycoprofiling

Team

Jan Tkac, DSc

Executive manager, co-founder

Dr. Jan Tkac is known worldwide for his scientific contribution. He is the winner of many prestigious grants and awards such as Scientist of the year (Slovakia), European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator grant, Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions ITN, Qatar National Research Fund.

Dr. Tkac professional background includes more than 20 years of scientific work in biotechnology industry in the world most prestigious universities. As a team leader he is responsible for development of various types of bioanalytical methods and assays protocols with focus on bioreceptive interface engineering for diagnostic purposes.

Together with Dr. Tomas Bertok, Dr. Tkac co-founded Glycanostics in 2017.

Awards

  • 2006 / Nanochallenge 2006 – world competition of business plans, winner
  • 2015 / Small medal of Samuel Mikovini from the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport
  • 2016 / Scientist of the Year of the Slovak Republic

Scientific outputs

  • 110+ research papers, 2800+ citations, 6 book chapters, 1 book, h-index 31, 7 PhD. students

Grants as the PI

  • 2003 – 2006 / Marie-Curie Individual Fellowship
  • 2012 – 2015 / APVV national grant
  • 2013 – 2017 / European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator grant
  • 2014 – 2017 / Qatar National Research Fund
  • 2014 – 2017 / Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions ITN

Tomas Bertok, PhD, Eur Ing

co-founder

Dr. Tomas Bertok is focusing on technology validation, performing pre-clinical and restrospective validation studies, implementation of novel and innovative immobilisation and assay protocols to design early stage diagnostic kits.

For his remarkable scientific achievements Dr. Bertok was listed in Forbes Slovakia, was awarded by the president of the Slovak Republic for research activities in life sciences and also won BASF Slovakia and Danubius Young Scientist Award.

Together with Dr. Jan Tkac, Dr. Bertok co-founded Glycanostics in 2017.

Awards

  • Top student personality of the year 2013/2014
  • Award of the President of the Slovak Republic for research activities in life sciences
  • BASF Slovakia award
  • Danubius Young Scientist Award 2016, Ministry of science, research and economy, Austria
  • Forbes Slovakia 30 under 30, 2016
  • Young scientist of the Slovak republic in 2016

Scientific outputs

  • 30+ research papers, 400+ citations, 3 book chaters, 1 book, h-index 12, 1 Ph.D. student

Grants

  • Intenda – supporting individuals, individual grant for Ph.D. students
  • Stefan Schwarz grant awarded by the SAS for post-doc scientists