New Deal Signals Tests to Improve Organ Transplant Outcomes

Molecular diagnostics company Transplant Genomics Inc. (TGI) tells us it has obtained an exclusive license to patent rights that provide the foundation for clinical tests to improve management of organ transplant recipients.

Background

This licensing agreement provides TGI with access to patent rights that are co-owned by The Scripps Research Institute and Northwestern University. This is a broad portfolio of intellectual property related to kidney and liver transplant diagnostics, including immune status monitoring and optimization.

TGI intends to develop and commercialize tests that use genomic markers of transplant graft status as part of a surveillance program to detect and respond to early signs of graft injury.

TGI’s first test will be used to routinely monitor kidney transplant recipients, indicating when treatment or biopsy is required based on analysis of a patient’s blood. The need for such improved tests is highlighted by the fact that more than 15% of kidney transplant patients with normal serum creatinine levels, the most commonly used indicator of graft injury, show signs of rejection when their grafts are analyzed by protocol biopsy up to one year post-transplant.

 

TGI’s scientific founders, Dr. Michael Abecassis (Northwestern Medicine) and Dr. Daniel Salomon (The Scripps Research Institute), have been recognized for their work on discovery and validation of novel biomarkers of graft and immune status for solid-organ transplants.

Company comments

“The scientific founders of TGI have uniquely combined biomarker discovery with clinical validation and insight to set the stage for high-impact collaborations designed to move the transplant field forward,” explained Stanley Rose, PhD, President & CEO of Transplant Genomics and a kidney transplant recipient. “Working with the transplant community, TGI will bring these vital advances in biomarkers of transplant status from bench to clinic. Clinicians will be able to access clear, actionable information to optimize immunosuppression therapy to improve graft survival.”

“TGI’s tests could be used for serial patient monitoring in stable patients with good kidney function to better inform decisions about immunosuppression,” stated Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, Founding Director and Chief Clinical Advisor of TGI and Founding Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “The test will also find a major and immediate application in circumstances where a sudden elevation in creatinine is noted by the clinician and a biopsy is not possible because of logistical issues.”

“The danger of subclinical acute organ rejection is well recognized as a significant cause of late graft loss but nearly impossible to diagnose since doing serial biopsies is not feasible,” explained Dan Salomon, MD, Founding Director and Chief Scientific Advisor of TGI and Professor at The Scripps Research Institute. “A minimally invasive blood test could be used to predict clinical rejection, to diagnose subclinical rejection, and to monitor treatment to assure clinicians that the therapy was fully effective.”

Source: Transplant Genomics Inc.

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