Patents related to cancer biomarker kit, also known as an in-vitro diagnostic kit, are increasing at a rapid pace, according to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
Biomarker kit allows for a diagnosis of cancer at low cost with the simple examination of bodily fluid such as urine and blood. KIPO 특허청 received 308 patent applications related to biomarker-related technology last year, compared with 59 filed in 2007.
The kit uses bodily fluids from the patient and compares the amount of biomarker by measuring an electrochemical or optical signal generated when the biomarker contained in the blood binds to the antibody placed on the biosensor. The measurement compares the findings to a comparative group to determine the possibility of cancer.
The kit is much cheaper than in-body diagnostics that use endoscopic, MRI, CT or other medical devices that remove tissue suspected of being cancerous. It can also diagnose cancer at an early stage by body fluids without much preparation.
In the past 10 years, the number of biomarker diagnostic patent applications for specific cancer was 406 for lung cancer, 386 for breast cancer, 277 for colon cancer, 270 for gastric cancer and 250 for liver cancer.
“In-vitro diagnostic products that diagnose cancer are the key technology in detecting biomarkers using IT technology and developing excellent biomarkers,” said a KIPO official. “If excellent domestic IT companies and biomarker development institutes work together, they will be able to produce competitive products.”