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    You are here : Home » MS Research News » Blood Tests And MS

    Blood Tests And MS

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    More news can be found in New Pathways Magazine, our bi-monthly publication, and also check daily at MSRC: Latest MS News.

    Utah firm developing blood tests for multiple sclerosis

    Blood Tests For MSA Salt Lake City company has received a boost in its quest to develop diagnostic tests for multiple sclerosis, which could improve the lives of those with the devastating, unpredictable autoimmune disorder that disrupts nerve function.

    The National Multiple Sclerosis Society on Wednesday announced a $622,000 pledge, through its nonprofit subsidiary Fast Forward, to Lineagen Inc., a molecular diagnostic company that was spun off from the University of Utah in 2005. The grant will fund ongoing U. research programs at the labs of neurologist John Rose, a leading clinical MS researcher, and his longtime collaborator geneticist Mark Leppert, Lineagen’s chief science adviser and co-founder.

    To advance understanding of MS, Rose has recruited some 500 patients through his clinic, and compared their genetic data with the pedigrees of relatives in the university’s Utah Population Database, which includes medical and demographic information on more than 6.5 million individuals. Meanwhile, Leppert’s lab has helped identify genetic profiles associated with the disease.

    Lineagen officials hope marrying these clinical and genetic approaches will create new techniques for determining whether a patient has MS and how severely the disease will affect them.

    "John looks at various nongenetic markers [certain proteins in the blood or antibodies in spinal fluid]. They correlated that with a person’s genetics and that leads to a predictive opportunity," said Michael Paul, Lineagen president and CEO. "The funding from Fast Forward will accelerate this clinical program, allowing the collaborative team to evaluate and affirm a broad number of biomarkers simultaneously, with the collective goal of delivering our best testing services to physicians and patients."

    This research team is tackling a crucial need, according to Timothy Coetzee, the MS society’s chief research officer.

    "It’s a high-risk science. We are thrilled to partner with them," Coetzee said. "This is a group that’s done it already in another disease. The company has an autism test that’s generating revenue."

    Unevenly distributed around the world, MS is much more common in counties at higher latitudes, yet some ethnic groups such as Finland’s Samis and New Zealand’s Maori are at low risk, suggesting a genetic role. Some 400,000 people have the disease in the United States, with 200 new cases diagnosed every week, according to the National MS society. Utah has one of the highest rates of MS in the country.

    The disease cannot be cured, but its debilitating symptoms can be managed through powerful drugs that are expensive and create side effects.

    "Starting treatment when it’s not appropriate is a huge negative," said Alex Lindell, Lineagen’s senior director for product management. A credible diagnosis is difficult before a patient is clearly symptomatic, but by then treatment options narrow and outcomes are less promising. A diagnosis, usually confirmed through MRI brain scans, requires a patient to experience at least two isolated neurological episodes associated with the loss of the fatty sheaths that encase nerve tissue.

    "There’s a period where symptoms can start, but it can be two months between episodes or two years. They don’t know if the person has MS. It’s a difficult diagnostic situation," Leppert said.

    Lineagen’s technique could enable physicians to more quickly rule out other neurological disorders in diagnosing patients with MS, then predict their responsiveness to different treatment options, Coetzee said. The MS society funding will help validate it in a clinical setting.

    A major goal of the program is to predict the trajectory of this notoriously fickle disease in a particular patient, information could help physicians optimize therapy.

    "There are different courses of this illness," Leppert said. "We have a lot of good therapies now. Can you match treatment modalities up with the different observations of proteins, DNA and antibodies?"

    Researchers hope to correlate fluctuations in known MS biomarkers with how the disease plays out in a patient.

    "One of the most critical challenges is to find answers to key questions, such as how do we identify those patients who are more likely to experience disease progression and how do we determine patients’ potential responsiveness to therapy? With this important funding provided by Fast Forward, we will rapidly gain key insights that we believe can have a profound impact on the lives of people living with MS," Rose said.

    Source: The Salt Lake Tribune © 2011 (15/12/11)

    Glycominds receives Japanese nod for its patent of diagnostic process of MS

    BloodGlycominds, which develops a unique technology and provides via it CLIA certified clinical laboratory groundbreaking services for early detection and management of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), reported that it has received approval from the Japanese Patent Office for the registration of its application for a patent for its main process for early diagnosis and management of MS.

    The approval of this Patent further strengthens the intellectual property of Glycominds and is an expansion of the extensive patent protection held by the company, which has more than 100 issued and registered patents. Glycominds now intends to examine possible entry into the Japanese market, which is considered the second largest market in the medical field.

    Glycominds’ CLIA laboratory is processing the company's unique gMS blood tests, that dramatically shorten the time it takes to diagnose MS, and predict the course of progression of the disease. This technology allows the neurologist better treatment decision. Currently there are no competing blood tests for MS. The Company estimates the market potential for MS tests at about 1 billion dollars.

    Glycominds recently reported the successful results of a clinical study of its prognostic test, the gMSPro CDMS. This test predicts events of clinical relapses in patients suspected with Multiple Sclerosis. The clinical study was held at the centre for Multiple Sclerosis of Catalonia, at the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona Spain, with a leading research group, led by Professor Xavier Montalban and Dr Mar Tintoré.

    The gMSPro CDMS is the third test being developed by the Company. The two other tests: the gMSDx for early diagnosis of MS, and the gMSPro EDSS to predict the likelihood for rapid progression and accumulation of disabilities.

    Dr Avinoam Dukler, CEO and president of Glycominds, said: "I am pleased that we have received the patent approval in Japan, which is an additional evidence of the technological innovation and the unique knowledge that we have developed at Glycominds. This approval is important and also supports the continued development of additional markets in the future for the company".

    Glycominds, a molecular diagnostics company, develops and commercialises autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disease management tools and services with a distinctive focus on the Multiple Sclerosis market.

    Source: Copyright © 2010 Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd (29/06/11)

    Glycominds reports positive multiple sclerosis treatment results

    BloodResults prove that the company's blood test can help identify which patients are likely to have a relapse within 24-60 months.

    Glycominds Ltd. reported that it had reached an important milestone in developing personalized therapy approaches for patients with multiple sclerosis. The company said that it has discovered a method for predicting clinical episodes in people who suffer from multiple sclerosis. These test results have proven with statistical significance that the gMS®Pro CDMS blood test has a good chance of identifying which patients are likely to have a relapse within 24-60 months.

    The clinical test results were presented last weekend at the annual conference of the CMSC (Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers) and confirm previous clinical results.

    Results of the study, which took place in the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, showed that patients who had already experienced an initial neural episode and tested positive in the Glycominds test, experienced a second episode within two years.

    It was also found that 50% of those who tested positive in this test experienced a second episode within 3 years, whereas 50% of those who tested negative in this new test experienced a second episode only after 7 years.

    The test, which is the third blood test that Glycominds has developed, has tremendous clinical value for use in patients with Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS), in conjunction with MRI testing and has a unique contribution beyond of MRI testing.

    Source: Globes © Globes.All rights reserved.(06/06/11)

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC)

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