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Lophius Joins Germany-funded Effort to Develop MS Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Lophius Biosciences today said that it has joined a research consortium that will work with the firm on developing its T-Track MS diagnostic test for initial diagnosis of multiples sclerosis and monitoring of disease progression.

The project is part of the NEU2 program and has received funding of €350,000 ($468,800) from Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Lophius is developing a T-cell-based diagnostic test kit for MS, which it believes will fill an unmet clinical need by offering a rapid blood-based test for differential diagnosis of the disease. The test is based on the firm's Reverse T Cell Technology platform, which "exploits the maturation processes induced in antigen presenting cells via a specific interaction with activated T helper cells thus representing an indirect measure for activated Th cells," the firm said in a statement.

"Both the opportunity to interact with leading experts in the MS field as well as the substantial funding will accelerate the development of our highly innovative T cell based diagnostic T-Track MS test kit and help Lophius to initiate a broader clinical discovery and development program," Michael Lutz and Ralf Wagner, managing directors of Regensburg, Germany-based Lophius Biosciences, said.

The NEU2 program was created to initiate collaborations between academic institutions, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies in Germany. It is coordinated by Bionamics and has a particular focus on developing therapeutics for multiple sclerosis.

Earlier this year Lophius raised $5.3 million in a private financing round.