Natera have announced a research collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), a leader in renal transplantation medicine in North America, to study the level of donor-derived cell-free DNA (dd-cfDNA) in over several hundred retrospectively banked plasma samples from kidney transplant recipients with and without organ injury.
There is a significant unmet need for a more accurate non-invasive diagnostic test for renal transplant care. Currently, physicians rely on a combination of creatinine measures and invasive needle biopsies, which often result in inconclusive results or a diagnosis of acute rejection after the damage to the kidney is irreversible.
Multiple studies have shown dd-cfDNA has a potential to be a universal marker for acute rejection for solid organs. Under this research collaboration, Natera will analyze the dd-cfDNA level of plasma samples collected at UCSF from kidney transplant patients using Natera's proprietary massively-multiplexed PCR (mmPCR) platform and proprietary statistical algorithms. Through this research collaboration, Natera and UCSF will investigate whether the routine measurement of dd-cfDNA can help predict organ injury and ultimately improve clinical outcomes.
"We are honored to be working with Professor Minnie Sarwal, an internationally recognized leader in the fields of renal and transplant medicine," said Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of Natera. "Collaborations of this kind advance the needs of patients, and are very efficient vehicles to further expand the range of clinically actionable applications for our technology platform."
"The advances we've made in organ transplant over the past few decades have made a tremendous difference in our patients' quality of life, but it is still very difficult to detect quickly whether an individual patient is recovering well or rejecting the organ," said Sarwal, MD, Ph.D., a UCSF professor of medicine and nephrologist at UCSF Health. "Because the speed of that detection is crucial in preventing acute rejection, our goal is to develop a test that will help us identify which patients are at greatest risk, before the damage is irreversible."