Discovery: Early Biomarkers Predict Severe COVID-19

Authors: Henning Boekhoff, Jana S. Röder

Discovery of predictive COVID-19 Biomarkers using scioDiscoverThe SARS-CoV-2 pandemic posed significant challenges worldwide and raised critical questions in the scientific community. While some individuals experienced mild or asymptomatic infections, others faced severe or critical disease progression with a high mortality rate, peaking in 30 % mortality of patients aged 85 or older. The need for rapid biomarker discovery for early prediction of COVID-19 progression became evident from the outset of the pandemic.

At Sciomics, we continuously develop and optimize specific antibody microarray platforms for in-house protein and post-translational modification profiling, establishing ourselves as a world leader in microarray-based biomarker discovery. In a recent study published in Nature Communications Medicine, we leveraged our expertise to identify early predictive biomarkers for COVID-19.

In the study, we analyzed 351 proteins in 53 human plasma samples at different infection stages. We identified proteins with varying abundances in patients with severe/critical and mild/moderate disease. Building on this, we analyzed 998 proteins in a larger cohort of 94 patients, leading to the selection of eleven promising biomarkers capable of predicting severe COVID-19.

We successfully established multiple biomarker panels, offering the potential to predict disease progression early and reliably stratify patients in clinical settings. The most promising biomarker panel identified consists of three proteins: S100A8/A9, TSP1, and ERBB2. We are actively working on validating these panels in COVID-19, Long Covid and other viral diseases of the respiratory system.

Early patient stratification for those at high risk of developing severe or critical disease could significantly improve treatment decisions, ultimately easing the burden on healthcare systems and leading to an improved pandemic preparedness. This biomarker signature showcases the use of biomarkers to predict disease progression and gain insights into disease mechanisms simultaneously.

Providing a bigger picture, unbiased or semi-targeted monitoring of the systemic response to a disease can shed light on diverse patient outcomes without prior knowledge of underlying mechanisms. Through antibody microarrays, thousands of proteins in various blood components can be examined simultaneously in a minimally invasive, low-volume, rapid, and less biased manner.

For more in-depth information on this biomarker discovery study for COVID-19, you can access the publication here.


Hufnagel, K., Fathi, A., Stroh, N., Klein, M., Skwirblies, F., Girgis, R., Dahlke, C., Hoheisel, J. D., Lowy, C., Schmidt, R., Griesbeck, A., Merle, U., Addo, M. M., & Schröder, C. 2023. Discovery and systematic assessment of early biomarkers that predict progression to severe COVID-19 disease. Communications medicine, 3(1), 51. DOI: 10.1038/s43856-023-00283-z

Published: 28 Nov 2023


COVID-19 related activities and services

covid 19 portfolio web


New Article | Endothelial Notch1 signaling in white adipose tissue promotes cancer cachexia

| September 2023 | New Article: Endothelial Notch1 signaling in white adipose tissue promotes cancer cachexia. Sciomics supported this study by scioCyto serum analysis in a mouse cancer model.

Taylor, J., Uhl, L., Moll, I. et al. Endothelial Notch1 signaling in white adipose tissue promotes cancer cachexia. Nat Cancer 4, 1544–1560 (2023)
New Article | Rapid Diagnostic Platform for Personalized Vitamin B6 Detection in Erythrocytes

| July 2023 | New Article: Fiedler et al. developed a novel methodology for vitamin B6 diagnostics. We supported the project by the production of custom antibody microarray targeting signature human PLP-DE and testing respective samples.

New Article | Microbiota Influences Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer

| February 2023 | New Article: In the study Tintelnot et al. identified a microbiota-derived metabolite that has clinical implications in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Sciomics supported the authors by a protein profiling study of tumours derived from a mouse model upon treatment with 3-IAA and Firinox.

Tintelnot et al. Microbiota-derived 3-IAA influences chemotherapy efficacy in pancreatic cancer. Nature 615, 168-174 (2023)
New Article | Predicting a severe Covid-19 disease

| April 2023 | New Article: In a protein biomarker development project initiated by Sciomics, we have identified protein biomarker panels predicting development of a severe Covid.19  disease.

Hufnagel K., Fathi A. et al. Discovery and systematic assessment of early biomarkers that predict progression to severe COVID-19 disease. Communications Medicine 3,51 (2023)
New Sciomics Proteomics Research Blog has Launched!

Sciomics Protomics Research Blog


At Sciomics, we are dedicated to advancing healthcare through proteomics research. We are collaborating with research groups and big pharma, alongside our in-house biomarker research initiatives. To make this research more accessible to you, we are launching the new Sciomics science blog!

The first study we will feature was published this year in a journal in the Nature publishing group. It's a topic that affects us all. Any guesses? Stay tuned!




Dr. Matthew Wright

Chief Scientific Officer, Kinarus Therapeutics AG, Basel, Switzerland

"We are a small biotech company without our own wet labs. Sciomics recommended a UK CRO that performed cell culture experiments for our studies. Sciomics seamlessly coordinated the transfer of the biologic materials to their facility and performed the scioCD panel to characterize cell surface markers and cytokines in cell lines treated with our small molecule drug candidates. The Sciomics data were instrumental in supporting our IP protection strategy. Their advice was very helpful and they worked with us to extract the most out of the data. We are very satisfied and highly recommend the Sciomics platform and the team."

Product: scioCD

Kyriaki Barmpa

PhD Candidate, Developmental and Cellular Biology, Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, University of Luxembourg

"By collaborating with Sciomics, we conducted a detailed analysis of the proteome of striatum organoids, uncovering significant differences that further assisted our research. Their communication was highly efficient, and the results were delivered promptly."

Product: scioPhospho