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Q Biomed Options Glaucoma Biomarker From WUSTL

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biomedical technology accelerator Q Biomed announced today that it has acquired an exclusive option to a novel gene biomarker for glaucoma from Washington University in St. Louis.

The biomarker — growth differentiation factor 15, or GDF15 — has been shown by Washington University School of Medicine researchers to be associated with retinal ganglion cell death and is upregulated in mouse models of chronic glaucoma. The investigators have also linked GDF15 expression to glaucoma severity in human patients.

Under the terms of the deal, Q Biomed will evaluate the feasibility and utility of GDF-15 as the basis of a companion diagnostic for MAN-01, a small molecule treatment for primary open angle glaucoma under development by partner Mannin Research.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

"The ophthalmology, in general, and glaucoma sector, specifically, are currently in an active consolidation and business development cycle," Q Biomed CEO Denis Corin said in a statement. "Having access to a truly innovative technology that complements ours as a companion diagnostic could greatly enhance the value of the Mannin Research MAN-01 technology."