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EMD Millipore, Proteomics International to collaborate on diabetic nephropathy biomarkers
BILLERICA, Mass.—EMD Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck KGaA, and Proteomics International, a mass spectrometry and protein characterization services provider in Perth, Australia, has announced a collaboration to validate biomarkers for diabetic nephropathy, a progressive kidney disease. Per the terms of the agreement, Proteomics International will use EMD Millipore's multiplex immunoassays to assess its thirteen newly identified putative protein biomarkers, which include proteins related to inflammation, metabolism and oxidative stress. Once the biomarkers are validated, they could have applications in monitoring both the progression and prognosis of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes patients.
"We expect this opportunity will enable EMD Millipore to expand our substantial portfolio of ELISA and MILLIPLEX multiplexed-bead based assays for diabetes and metabolic disease biomarkers," Jehangir Mistry, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development at EMD Millipore, said in a press release. "In addition to their biomarkers, Proteomics International brings access to large, highly stratified patient cohorts in Australia to validate assay performance. This will help us determine the clinical utility of the biomarkers for development of potential diagnostic tests for diabetic nephropathy."
Diabetic nephropathy is a condition prevalent in diabetes patients in which the nephrons, small structures in the kidney that filter blood and remove waste, thicken and become scarred over time, according to Medline Plus of the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. As a result, "the kidneys begin to leak and protein passes into the urine." The condition represents a significant complication for those with diabetes, as 10 to 20 percent of the 280 million people suffering from diabetes worldwide are expected to die of kidney failure.
The microalbumin test is the current standard for screening patients for diabetic nephropathy, but the biomarker, which is found in urine, has limited usefulness when it comes to predicting and monitoring progression of the disease. However, several newly identified biomarkers exhibit potential for enhancing the current screening methods by identifying a signature of biomarkers in the blood that will be better predictors. Proteomics International will also put to use its sample repository of relevant clinical specimens to test additional biomarkers from EMD Millipore.
"We chose to partner with EMD Millipore because of their extensive portfolio of developed protein biomarkers and custom assay development expertise," Richard Lipscombe, Ph.D., Managing Director of Proteomics International, said in a press release. "We are very excited to be working with EMD Millipore to progress our initial discovery of these biomarkers that could improve diagnosis and health outcomes on such a large scale."
SOURCE: EMD Millipore press release