Vitalea Science, Inc has announced that it has received a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NIH, to develop a medical diagnostic test to assess vitamin B12 malabsorption. The simple test intends to replace the Schillings test, the current standard, for assessing vitamin B12 malabsorption.
According to Company, the test will allow physicians to diagnose patients with vitamin B12 absorption problems before anemia, dementia and/or other permanent damage develops.
The method of 14C labeling of vitamin B12, using a modified strain of Salmonella bacteria, was developed by a team of scientists from the University of California, Davis, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory including Dr. Stephen Dueker, president of Vitalea Science. The method is protected by a patents filed by the University of California.
The work represents a growing area of clinical research, dubbed microdosing, where harmlessly small doses of drug candidates are paired with powerful accelerator mass spectrometry technologies to initially assess bio-activity in humans at very early stages of drug development, in lieu of lengthy preliminary animal testing.
"This award symbolizes our firm commitment to innovation and our relentless pursuit of Accelerator technology to achieve better tools for disease detection, and safer drugs for people," stated Dr. Vuong, Chief Operating Officer of Vitalea Science.
"We plan to have this test carried out on our compact particle accelerator, the bio-MICADAS, a joint development with Paul-Scherrer Institut in Zurich. We also intend to pursue Phase-II with UCDMC and other clinics to carry out the clinical trials later this year," said Dr Vuong.