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DaVita Labs and Myriad RBM Announce Biomarker Research Collaboration

DaVita Labs, a unit of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE:DVA) and Myriad RBM, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Myriad Genetics (Nasdaq:MYGN) announced today a research collaboration to conduct protein biomarker discovery research with the goal of developing and commercializing diagnostic tests that could benefit in the treatment of dialysis patients.

DaVita and Myriad have identified potential opportunities where novel diagnostic tests utilizing blood-based protein biomarkers could improve the quality of life for patients and potentially lower overall healthcare costs. The primary area of focus will include the prediction of vascular access failure.

“This collaboration uses DaVita’s proprietary biorepository that is intended to facilitate innovative research across renal disease,” said Chris Rucker, president of DaVita Labs and DaVita Clinical Research. “Myriad recognizes the value that the biorepository can bring to research and development activities, and we look forward to collaborating with Myriad on the research and development of novel diagnostics that could transform our industry.”

“We are enthusiastic to collaborate with a company of the caliber of DaVita in the field of dialysis, one of the largest health care service markets,” said Craig Benson, president Myriad RBM. “We have extensive experience with research in kidney disease and inflammatory markers that we believe could increase the quality of care for dialysis patients.”

Specimens from the DaVita biorepository will be processed on the Myriad RBM DiscoveryMAP® platform for the quantification of more than 300 important proteins. DiscoveryMAP analyzes protein biomarkers correlated with inflammatory, metabolic and renal disease conditions that could have meaningful utility as diagnostic criteria for dialysis patients. Myriad is expected to begin processing specimens associated with this collaboration in fiscal year 2014.

Source: Myriad Genetics

Olink Bioscience Introduces Scalable Protein Biomarker Assays with Proseek Multiplex

Molecular tools specialist Olink today launched Proseek® Multiplex – a new generation of multiplexed protein biomarker immunoassays based on its proprietary Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) platform. Until now, it has been impossible to scale up conventional assays due to increased antibody cross-reactivity when large numbers of assays are run simultaneously. Now with the introduction of Proseek Multiplex, biomarker researchers can quantify 92 proteins in just one microliter sample without compromising data quality or performance.

“We are very proud at Olink to introduce a new and scalable era in immunoassays. Proseek has harnessed the tools that have fueled genomics for many years and put them to use in protein biomarker research. In a few years, we aim to offer the market’s most comprehensive portfolio of protein biomarker assays.” says Simon Fredriksson, CEO of Olink Bioscience.

First in the range is Proseek Multiplex Oncology I 96×96, a ready-to-use kit sold by Olink capable of analyzing 96 samples against a panel of analytes such as growth factors, inflammatory markers, soluble receptors, and cancer antigens. Further Proseek 92-plex panels for cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and diabetes will be introduced through 2013.

Minimal sample consumption makes Proseek Multiplex especially suitable for retroactively mining precious biobanked serum samples for novel multivariate biomarker signatures. It can also provide novel biomarker insights from sample types such as tissue lysates of needle biopsies and micro dialysis samples. Even in these small samples Proseek Multiplex can provide accurate quantification below pico-gram per milliliter levels.

Proseek is based on the proprietary PEA technology developed at Olink. PEA is a homogeneous assay that uses pairs of antibodies equipped with DNA reporter molecules which upon target binding give rise to new DNA amplicons each ID-barcoding their respective antigens. Cross-reactive events are not detected since the sequence design allows only the correctly matched antibody pairs to give rise to a signal. The amplicons are subsequently quantified by high throughput real-time PCR.

“This is major breakthrough. Suddenly the extremely sensitive, reproducible and reliable qPCR workflow since long established as the gold standard for DNA, mRNA, and microRNA analyses has become available also for the measurement of proteins. During our early access period we have established robust SOPs for the entire workflow from sample preparation to data analysis, and it will be a great pleasure supporting our clients with this exceedingly powerful new technology to advance their research.” says Professor Mikael Kubista, founder of TATAA Biocenter and renowned for his pioneering work in real time-PCR.

Source: Olink Bioscience

Astute Medical, Inc. Advancing Next Generation Acute Kidney Injury Biomarkers

Citing results of a clinical study published recently in Critical Care, Astute Medical Chief Executive Officer Chris Hibberd said he is confident about the prospects for newly validated biomarkers of kidney damage used in the Company’s NephroCheck(®) Test. The international, multi-center study validated the ability to predict acute kidney injury (AKI) using measurements of the two biomarkers, Insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) and demonstrated their superiority in risk assessment of AKI when compared with existing biomarkers.

EKF Diagnostics Signs Licensing Agreement for Kidney Biomarkers

EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc (AIM: EKF), a worldwide manufacturer of point of care in-vitro diagnostic devices, announces that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Joslin Diabetes Center (“Joslin”), a teaching, research and clinical care affiliate of Harvard Medical School, to license certain novel kidney biomarker technology. The licensed biomarkers were developed by Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, MD, PhD, Head of Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and his laboratory team at Joslin.

Evotec and Harvard University Expand Strategic Alliance into Kidney Disease

Evotec AG recently announced a second strategic alliance with Harvard University, this time including Brigham and Women’s Hospital aimed at discovering and developing new biomarkers and treatments in the field of kidney disease. The first successful collaboration ‘CureBeta’ was established in March 2011 to develop new diabetes therapies targeting beta cell regeneration.