Dr Daryl Fernandez


Chief Executive Officer, Ludger Ltd, UK

Dr Daryl Fernandez is the founder and Chief Executive of Ludger (a life science company based near Oxford, UK specialising in glycoscience for human healthcare) and co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Avenna (a company specialising in preventative precision healthcare pathways). He gained my D.Phil (doctorate) in glycobiology from the Deparment of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, helped spin out Oxford GlycoSciences (OGS) then left OGS in 1999 to set up Ludger. He founded Avenna in 2017 with his business partner Nina Skorytchenko (now Avenna’s Chief Executive) to exploit Ludger’s precision medicine technologies.  Ludger and Avenna operate in three main areas:

  • Glycomics to support biopharmaceutical realisation.
  • Medical glycomics for early warning identification and stratification of metabolic and endocrine disorders, inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and brain degeneration and
  • Precision healthcare (focusing on developing effective and affordable pathways for stratification and prevention of chronic, infectious and exposome-induced diseases).

Presentation Title: Use of glycomics biomarkers from blood and saliva in the Avenna Diabesity Prevention Programme (Avenna-DPP)

This talk is an overview of the use of blood and saliva glycomics assays for disease stratification and tracking in the ‘Avenna’ Diabesity Prevention Programme (Avenna-DPP). This is our ‘precision healthcare in action’ project, the main aim of which is to help individuals to significantly increase their healthspans through self-care pathways designed to prevent or slow progression of chronic, infectious and exposome-induced diseases (CIEDs) related to diabetes and obesity. The CIEDs in the programme’s scope include diabetes variants (T1D, T2D, gestational diabetes and MODY subtypes), metabolic syndrome and common co-morbidities (including Alzheimer’s Disease).

Topics covered in the talk will include:

  • The science behind the GlyHealth Index (GHI) test – a blood glycomics assay to measure systemic inflammation and CIED progression.
  • Advantages of GHI compared to hsCRP and other markers of acute inflammation in the Avenna-DPP.
  • Some of the challenges we have had in translating GHI from a research tool to a commercial service.
  • Building on GHI to stratify other CIEDs.
  • Prospects for future saliva glycomics assays.