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Immunovia, Lund University Receive $239K Grant to Validate Lupus Dx on Immray Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Swedish antibody array diagnostics firm Immunovia and Lund University have announced a SEK2 million ($239,300) grant from Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems, to kick off validation of tests for lupus using the firm's Immray technology platform.

The antibody array-based tests will monitor an individual's immune response by analysing serum proteins that form immune biomarker signatures, which can be used for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of flares in autoimmune diseases.

"Due to the challenge of diagnosing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients correctly, there is an immediate clinical need for a blood-based test such as Immray SLE," Immunovia CEO Mats Grahn said in a statement. An estimated 5 million people worldwide suffer from SLE, with approximately 100,000 new cases reported every year, he said.

Christer Wingren, a professor at Lund University who developed Immray and will be the principal investigator for the grant, added that no existing blood or urine test could confirm or rule out SLE.

Lupus is a new area of focus for Lund, Sweden-based Immunovia, a Lund University spinout. The firm has signed several partnerships to develop and validate its Immray PanCan-d pancreatic cancer blood test, most recently with Mount Sinai Health System and the UK's University of Liverpool.