Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness has given GoodGut €1.1 million under the Research Challenges (Retos) programme to validate and develop a non-invasive system for colorectal cancer screening based on bacterial markers in faeces. The project is called Risk Assessment Intestinal Disease for Colorectal Cancer (RAID-CRC) and will last three years.
The innovation of this new test lies in its ability to detect precancerous lesions in patients from a stool sample even before they experience symptoms. This will “reduce the number of false positives you get with the faecal occult blood test, decrease the need for colonoscopies and help prevent colorectal cancer,” explains Dr Mariona Serra, co-founder and CEO of GoodGut. RAID-CRC will be implemented to screen people with mid-to-high risk, meaning individuals over 50.
The test is currently undergoing clinical validation, which will finish over the coming months, at the Digestive System Unit at Dr. Josep Trueta University Hospital, led by Dr. Xavier Aldeguer; the Digestive System Unit at Bellvitge University Hospital, led by Dr. Jordi Guardiola; and the Genetic Counselling Unit at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, led by Dr. Gabriel Capellà and Dr. Joan Brunet.
Close collaboration between public institutions and companies is key to the development of medical devices like RAID-CRC. “The ‘Retos’ programme makes this interdisciplinary action possible, ensuring the success of the project,” says Mariona Serra.