Groundbreaking GDF15 biomarker may be the first single examination to accurately predict disease progression in Glaucoma
The Certificate of Grant and European Patent No. 3408287 for GDF15 IN GLAUCOMA AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF
NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Q BioMed Inc. (QBIO), a commercial stage biotechnology acceleration development company, is pleased to announce receipt of a European Certificate of Grant for GDF15, a diagnostic marker for determining the severity of glaucoma using the expression levels of Growth Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF15) licensed from the Washington University in St. Louis. Determining the severity of glaucoma using this biomarker will aid in treatment decisions for patients diagnosed with, and being treated for, glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve and can result in vision loss and blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, the eyes can be protected against serious vision loss. Currently, treatment for glaucoma is decided based on intraocular pressure (IOP) and perimetry. However, IOP has a huge variation from patient to patient and perimetry is a subjective test. Thus, a biomarker to aid in treatment decisions for glaucoma is needed.
Currently, no single examination or diagnostic test is able to accurately predict disease progression. Accurate monitoring for disease progression is critical to preserve visual function in glaucoma patients. Today, physicians only have surrogate measures to evaluate glaucomatous neurodegeneration. GDF15 represents an attractive biomarker for glaucoma with distinct advantages, including early detection, over conventional clinical tests and has the potential to be a first-in-class diagnostic test. GDF15 was discovered by Dr. Rajendra Apte, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine.
Q BioMed and its technology partner Mannin Research Inc. are currently developing therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action, to treat Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. By offering both a diagnostic and a therapeutic, Q BioMed and Mannin are addressing the needs of both patients and physicians, as well as bringing innovation to the global glaucoma market estimated to affect over 100 million patients.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. In 2017, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified the GDF15 biomarker, showing that it could predict damage to cells in the eye and be used to monitor severity and progression of glaucoma and facilitate treatment decisions and their effectiveness. Growth Differentiation Factor 15 is a member of the Transforming Growth Factor (TGF-beta) superfamily and was recently identified as a novel and promising biomarker for glaucoma, and its expression correlated with disease severity and progression. GDF15 has been validated in human patients with glaucoma. Beyond reduction of intraocular pressure, the desired goal of any glaucoma therapeutic is neuroprotection, or to be more specific, protection and survival of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).
Dr. George N. Nikopoulos, President & CEO Mannin Research, a Q BioMed partner company, says, "The use of GDF15 as a diagnostic tool to measure the severity and progression of glaucoma nicely complements our programs for the treatment of glaucoma. Our team is excited by the potential game-changing impact that Dr. Apte's invention will have on the practice of treating glaucoma. Working with Washington University in St. Louis to receive this patent has been a rewarding experience, and we look forward to addressing the needs of glaucoma patients worldwide with this collaboration in the near term."
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Q BioMed aims to accelerate the monetization of biomedical technologies through rapid innovation and collaborative partnerships with industry leading researchers. Q BioMed believes its assets in oncology, vascular disease, and rare orphan diseases address unmet medical needs and large markets.
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