NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – PredictImmune announced today that it has received £4.3 million ($5.9 million) from the Wellcome Trust to clinically evaluate its biomarker test for Crohn's disease.
PredictImmune's test — which the company expects to commercialize in the US and Europe next year — is designed to measure genetic markers in whole-blood samples in order to predict which Crohn's disease patients are likely to experience a severe, relapsing form of the disease to help personalize their treatment.
In 2011, the test's developers at the University of Cambridge published data showing that transcriptional signatures in CD8+ T cells could be used to differentiate patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as predict disease progression.
PredictImmune said the funding will be used to support a prospective, multicenter clinical study designed to show that the test can guide treatment choice between standard step-up therapy versus first-line use of biologic immunomodulator drugs. Called Predicting Outcomes for Crohn’s disease using a Molecular Biomarker — or PROFILE — the trial aims to enroll 400 newly diagnosed adults, with a primary endpoint of sustained surgery- and steroid-free remission from completion of steroid induction treatment for 48 weeks.
"The investment from Wellcome allows us to take a very positive step forward in the development of this, our first product," PredictImmune Executive Chairman Andrew Sandham said in a statement. "This prognostic tool accurately identifies patients, at diagnosis, who are at risk of experiencing severe, relapsing disease and who are therefore likely to benefit from early biologics therapy."
In 2017, PredictImmune raised £4.7 million through a Series A financing round that included Parkwalk Opportunities, Cambridge Enterprise and Wren Capital. The funding from the Wellcome Trust is being provided in the form of a loan convertible to equity, according to a company spokesperson.