Rosetta Genomics this week announced that it has generated preliminary data showing that blood-based microRNAs can be used to identify and stratify heart failure patients.
The company did not, however, provide specific details regarding the miRNAs themselves.
“Demographic and clinical status of [heart failure] patients in combination with indices of cardiac and renal
function can identify a large proportion of high-risk patients,” the company said. “However, risk stratification based on these factors alone remains imprecise, with some high-risk patients not recognized and others
inappropriately marked as high risk.
“Early identification of patients at higher risk for adverse events could lead to earlier intervention that could potentially improve outcomes,” it noted.
In Rosetta's proof-of-concept study, expression levels of a “wide panel” of miRNAs were measured in blood serum from an undisclosed number of patients with stable chronic systolic heart failure and normal individuals.
The differences in miRNA expression were characterized, and a score was defined based on the four miRNAs with the most significant upregulation in the heart failure patients, Rosetta said.
“The score was used to discriminate [heart failure] patients from controls with sensitivity and specificity of 90 percent,” the company said. In addition, in heart failure patients, there was a “significant association” between the score and various prognositic parameters of the condition.
“These preliminary results show that serum expression levels of microRNAs have the potential to be utilized to identify heart failure patients and may be useful for assessing their prognosis,” Rosetta added.
“We look forward to furthering our validation of these potentially powerful biomarkers for the identification and risk stratification” of heart failure patients, Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin said in a statement. “A blood-based microRNA diagnostic could provide important clinical information to guide treatment decisions
for [heart failure] patients in a non-invasive and cost effective manner.”