BDI TO COLLABORATE ON GROUND BREAKING PREECLAMPSIA PROJECT
The BDI will collaborate with an Irish biotech start-up, Inform Bioscience to bring to market tests to detect preeclampsia in pregnancy. Inform Bioscience has signed a license agreement with the world renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) to acquire a portfolio of biomarkers for use in developing a prognostic test to detect preeclampsia in pregnancy.
Prognostic tests provide advance indications of an illness or condition, and currently there are no such tests available to detect preeclampsia, a potentially fatal condition affecting pregnant women and their babies. Manifesting abruptly in late pregnancy, preeclampsia poses a serious threat to both mother and her unborn child. In the most severe cases it can progress to eclampsia which often results in seizure, stroke, coma and death. Presently, the disease is diagnosed by symptoms that are non-specific to preeclampsia and often exhibit when the condition is already full blown.
Discovered through pioneering research conducted by Vesna Garovic, M.D., a Mayo Clinic nephrologist, the biomarkers licensed by Inform Bioscience have the potential to detect preeclampsia much earlier than current methods. Inform Bioscience plans to develop a simple urine test, employing the biomarker technology, which has the potential to revolutionise prenatal care programmes globally.
The BDI will work to understand and translate the lab-based discovery protocol used by Dr Garovic into an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the first step towards a cost-effective Point of Care immunoassay, thus providing a strong base on which Inform Bioscience will build its commercialisation plan.
“The Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU is excited by this opportunity to work with Mayo Clinic and Inform Bioscience. We strongly commend the initiative of Enterprise Ireland in facilitating and supporting this endeavour through its strategic collaboration with Mayo Clinic and look forward to working together to deliver this important new diagnostic test”, said Mr. Joseph McManus, Director BDI.
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