NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – University of Maryland startup Biomecite Diagnostics has exclusively optioned the rights from UM Baltimore to develop molecular diagnostics to detect inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
The deal between Biomecite and University of Maryland Ventures covers technology developed by Florian Fricke and James White at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences. The technology links distinctive genomic variants in the human gut microbiome to the two related, but unique forms of IBD.
According to Biomecite, current methods for diagnosing UC and CD as well as differentiating them from other gastrointestinal diseases either rely on invasive procedures like colonoscopy or on potentially inaccurate subjective assessment of patients' symptoms.
Biomecite's technology instead uses genetic sequences obtained directly from the stool samples of patients. According to the company, its diagnostic tool currently focuses on the differentiation of IBD from other bowel disorders and then further diagnoses either UC or CD, but it also has the potential to support noninvasive clinical tests for other gastrointestinal diseases.