NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Diagnostics developer Miraculins has agreed to license a panel of biomarkers from Mount Sinai Hospital that it will use to develop diagnostic assays to detect preecleampsia, the company said today.
These markers have shown evidence that they may help to diagnose the disease in its earliest stages, Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Miraculins said.
Preeclampsia affects 3 million expectant mothers worldwide every year and it is associated with premature births and infant illnesses such as cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, deafness, lung conditions, and in severe cases it can cause death.
If the markers are developed into a reliable prenatal screen that is used for all pregnant women, it would have a potential US market of as many as 6.4 million women each year, said Miraculins.
The biomarker technology involved in the agreement was discovered through research by doctors at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of Toronto, and at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
"Our goal is to develop a diagnostic test so that physicians don't have to rely on symptoms alone to determine if a patient has preeclampsia,” Samuel Lunenfeld researcher Isabella Caniggia said in a statement.
Miraculins Director of Research and Development Stephen Frost said the company plans to immediately “begin executing an aggressive development plan with the objective of helping millions of women around the world at risk from this potentially fatal condition."
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.