Bridging the Biomarker Gap

How to bring better diagnostic tests to the market to benefit patients.

By Rainer Bischoff, University of Groningen, Department of Pharmacy, Analytical Biochemistry, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Biomarker discovery and validation relies heavily on reproducible and robust analytical methodology. Separation science and notably high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are essential and efforts spent in developing more efficient and robust HPLC stationary phases, together with advanced mass spectrometers, have made modern biomarker research possible. Given that many clinical biomarkers are proteins, advances in protein bioanalysis and proteomics have also been critical in driving the biomarker field forward. Many new biomarker candidates are proposed for various diseases every week – but often from small-scale studies lacking statistical power.