EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc has announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Joslin Diabetes Center (“Joslin”), a teaching, research and clinical care affiliate of Harvard Medical School, to license certain novel kidney biomarker technology. The licensed biomarkers were developed by Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, MD, PhD, Head of Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and his laboratory team at Joslin, as accurate early predictors of patients at high risk of end stage kidney disease.
The licence will provide EKF’s wholly owned subsidiary, Argutus Medical Ltd, with exclusive rights to the Joslin’s Intellectual Property surrounding two markers, Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor 1 and 2, that, when found elevated in the blood stream, can help identify patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at increased risk of developing end stage renal disease up to ten years in advance. Clinical tests that are currently available cannot identify people at risk of end stage renal disease with a high level of precision.
EKF will work in partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center to further validate the findings for the two markers and develop clinical diagnostic tests to accurately identify diabetes patients with an increased risk of developing end stage kidney disease.
“We believe these biomarkers can be very useful predictors of early and late renal function decline in patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Krolewski. “Working closely with the team at EKF, we hope to translate our scientific findings to improve clinical care for patients who are at risk of kidney damage.”
Kidney complications are one of the most life-threatening complications of diabetes. About a half a million people in the US have end stage kidney disease, which requires treatment through dialysis or kidney transplantation. Nearly 44% of these cases are due to diabetes. Currently, there is no accurate non-invasive test to identify patients at high risk of end stage kidney disease.
Commenting, Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, said: “We are really excited at the prospect of working with the world’s most prestigious diabetes centre to deliver a genuine and tangible benefit to patient management. We have focused on the delivery of high quality diagnostic tools at EKF and this license fits well with our existing development plans for point of care tests for acute kidney injury.”