ConQ-r Mi! Team which is affiliated with iGEM UGM, succeeded in making achievements at the national level by winning 1st place and receiving the Gold Medal award in the 2022 Bioinformatics and Synthetic Biology Competition (BIOS). This achievement was achieved by Ulfah Nur Azizah and Adhelia Intan Sabhira who are Biology students class of 2020 and I Made Rhamandana Putra (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2019), Nadya Lela Ainika (Faculty of Pharmacy, 2019), and Farrell Alfaza Marsetyo (KKMK Faculty, 2021) under the guidance of Dr.rer.nat. Abdul Rahman Siregar, S.Si., M.Biotech. In addition, the team also received guidance from Dr. med. dr. Indwiani Astuti, Imam Bagus Nugroho, M.Sc., and Pamungkas Bagus Satriyo, Ph.D.
BIOS Competition is a bioinformatics and synthetic biology competition organized by Synbio.id. This competition aims to provide solutions to various local problems through Bioinformatics and Synthetic Biology approaches. Tracks/sub-themes that can be raised in this competition include diagnostics, energy, environment, food and nutrition, as well as medicine/health therapy. There are a series of selection stages in this competition, including abstract submission, administrative selection, elevator pitch submission, research and filling in JOGL, research report and poster submission, final round selection, project presentation, and ending with a final showcase in the form of team presentations that pass in the top 3. This competition took place from 22 May 2022 to 11 December 2022 which was closed with Synbio Tech Fest activities.
Through this BIOS Competition, the ConQ-r Mi! team raised the title “Drug Delivery System Design of Qβ Bacteriophage in Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) Therapy Using Anti-miRNA 105/93-3p”. This research is motivated by the fact that breast cancer in Indonesia occupies the first position with the highest incidence rate (16.6%), the second position with the highest mortality (9.6%), and the highest five-year prevalence of 148.11/100,000 cases. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) was chosen because it does not have an estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PgR), as well as excess negative HER-2 expression. Until now, treatment of TNBC is done by surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. However, TNBC does not have a clear therapeutic target and is resistant to chemotherapy, so it has a very poor prognosis. Therefore, to increase therapeutic effectiveness and optimize current TNBC treatment, a targeted drug delivery system is used which delivers therapeutic agents to the TNBC site. Therefore, in this study a recombinant Qβ bacteriophage was designed as a drug delivery system capable of targeting miRNA 105/93-3p as a TNBC biomarker and expressing the desired antibody to increase target specificity. The results of this in silico study showed that recombinant Qβ bacteriophage with the anti-EGFR linker cetuximab has the potential to be developed into TNBC therapy. However, in vitro and in vivo studies are also needed to ensure therapeutic efficacy and yield.
With this competition, the team hopes to contribute to the development of science, especially in the discovery of TNBC drugs. In addition, all the team members also hope that participating in this competition can provide encouragement and motivation for students who are interested in the fields of bioinformatics and synthetic biology to develop their ideas and ideas to answer the issues around them.