The research will be led by Dr. Jonathan Braun, Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and a professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
Using a cross sectional study design, Dr. Braun's laboratory will determine the correlation of genotoxicity markers to mucosal healing and disease activity in IBD patients. Prometheus will evaluate in its laboratory, additional markers of inflammation and other markers traditionally associated with the diagnosis and prognosis of IBD.
"We have come to realize that symptom response is not a true indication that a drug has been effective in stopping the progression of IBD. We need to look at mucosal healing as a more accurate predictor of effective response," said Dr. Jonathan Braun. "There is a clinical need for a non-invasive biomarker of mucosal healing as currently this has been seen using a colonoscopy."
"Adding this research project to our R&D portfolio is the latest in a series of investments Prometheus has made to answer the clinical questions related to optimization of the use of biologic therapies commonly used in IBD treatment," said Joseph M. Limber, President & Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus. "Our goal is to be able to answer the clinical questions of who will respond to these drugs up front, how one can manage patients most effectively while on these drugs and to have a non-invasive measurement of treatment efficacy."
Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, Prometheus will fund the research activities in Dr. Braun's laboratory in exchange for rights to any intellectual property generated as a result of the project. Prometheus holds a license to technology Dr. Braun co-invented and Dr. Braun is a co-founder of Prometheus.