NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – KineMed said today that it has received a $225,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research contract from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for research into biomarkers for the early detection of myocardial fibrosis.
The contract is focused specifically on developing non-invasive methods to detect and monitor myocardial fibrosis in vivo. In previous work, KineMed has identified via its Dynamic Proteomics technology blood proteins that may potentially serve as markers of the fibrotic process in remodeling heart tissue.
Such markers, the company said, could allow researchers to generate a "virtual biopsy" of intra-cardiac pathogenic process from patient blood samples, which could help guide interventions that could halt the progression of the disease – a risk factor for heart failure and arrhythmias.
Current methods used for early detection of fibrogenesis require invasive biopsies.
A simple blood-based measurement to accurately assess myocardial fibrogenesis would be a significant advance in the ability to develop effective therapeutics, identify appropriate patients for treatments, and monitor response to therapy in clinical trials as well as routine medical care, Scott Turner, KineMed's executive vice president of R&D, said in a statement.
The company's Dynamic Proteomics technology uses mass spectrometry combined with stable isotope labeling for identification of potential protein biomarkers based on changes in their synthesis and breakdown rates.