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Prometheus Labs, UCLA Collaborate on IBD Markers

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Prometheus Laboratories and the Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles announced an exclusive research agreement to identify biomarkers of mucosal healing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Under the terms of the deal, Prometheus will fund research in the laboratory of Jonathan Braun, a co-founder of the San Diego-based pharmaceutical and diagnostics firm. Braun is also chairman of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Prometheus will receive intellectual property rights resulting from the project. The company owns a license to technology co-invented by Braun.

Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Braun's laboratory will use a cross-sectional study to correlate genotoxicity markers to mucosal healing and disease activity in IBD patients. In its own laboratory, Prometheus will assess other markers of inflammation, as well as markers traditionally associated with the diagnosis and prognosis of IBD, it said in a statement.

According to Braun, assessing a drug's effectiveness for the disease is currently performed by microscopy and a more accurate method is needed.

"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," he said. "We need to look at mucosal healing as a more accurate predictor of effective response."

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