Orphanbiotec AG manages the development of drugs for rare diseases. The first development project of Orphanbiotec aims at the diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer and early gastric cancer (mucosal cancer) is a tumor confined to the stomach.
Gastric cancer mainly affects adults and has various causes (nicotine, alcohol, diet, infections, ulcers, etc.). Currently this cancer is discovered too late, because the symptoms are not clearly associated with cancer, and an early diagnosis is not yet possible. The five-year survival rate for these patients with a late diagnosis is below 20%. The quality of life is severely compromised after a late diagnosis and the cost of treatment(surgery, radiography, chemotherapy) and follow-up care is very high.
However, if gastric cancer patients are diagnosed and treated at an early stage, it has very good chances for a cure. Patients have an excellent prognosis and more than 90% survive. Sadly, so far there is no active substance available for the early diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
Up to date, no reliable diagnostic test exists that could be used for early stage routine screening of gastric cancer.
With regard to the survival rates, there is a high imminent need for new screening techniques allowing early and reliable diagnosis of gastric cancers. In addition, an efficient visualization of early tumor tissue in the stomach would reduce health care cost tremendously. Orphanbiotec is pursuing a new diagnosis and treatment approach which would offer a innovative solution to this need. It relies on the principle of photodynamic diagnosis and therapy.