MDNA Life Sciences and University of Oxford to Collaborate to Develop a Mitochondrial Biomarker Blood-based Diagnostic for Endometriosis
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- MDNA Life Sciences Inc. (MDNA), a molecular diagnostics company specializing in the development of blood-based diagnostic tests based on the mitochondrial genome, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement with the University of Oxford to further the development and validation of MDNA's non-invasive blood-based test for endometriosis. The study will use MDNA's proprietary Mitomic Technology™ to isolate mitochondrial biomarkers circulating in blood plasma that have the potential to accurately distinguish between women with and without endometriosis. The endometriosis test aims to provide the medical community with a much-needed tool in the management of endometriosis to close the average 9-year gap between symptom onset and diagnosis, and accelerate the pathway to treatment. Following the successful outcome of this clinical study, launch of the test is planned for 2017.
The collaboration with the University of Oxford will be facilitated by Professor Christian Becker, and Professor Krina Zondervan, co-Directors of the Endometriosis Care and Research (CaRe) Centre which aims to find novel diagnostic approaches and identify innovative, more focused therapies for endometriosis. "This collaborative effort between MDNA Life Sciences and the Endometriosis CaRe Centre is an exciting novel project aiming to identify urgently needed biomarkers in endometriosis focusing on mitochondrial DNA," said Professor Becker. Professors Becker and Zondervan have also participated with the World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF) in the Endometriosis Phenome and Biobanking Harmonization Project (EPHect), which has produced the current standards in data, sample collection and processing for endometriosis research. "Using the WERF EPHect data and sample collection protocols will ensure the highest standards of phenotypic data and biological sample quality, which is a prerequisite for high quality and reproducible studies," added Professor Zondervan.
MDNA's diagnostic tests are developed using its proprietary Mitomic Technology™ platform which exploits the unique biological characteristics of mitochondrial DNA making it a highly attractive and effective system for biomarker discovery, early disease detection, monitoring, risk assessment and therapeutic targeting. This innovative platform has led to the discovery of numerous novel and proprietary biomarkers for a multitude of cancers and other diseases. The exceptional biological properties of mitochondrial DNA allow MDNA's proprietary tests to accurately identify early stages of disease progression, using a non-invasive blood sample. "Particularly for endometriosis, which affects 10% of women of childbearing age and currently relies on an invasive surgical procedure for diagnosis, there is significant value in the development of a non-invasive molecular test. The combination of our Mitomic TechnologyTM with the high quality, well-documented clinical specimens from the University of Oxford provides a powerful advantage for our efforts to develop enhanced diagnostic and screening tools for this high burden disease," says Chris Mitton, Chief Executive Officer of MDNA Life Sciences.
About MDNA Life Sciences
MDNA Life Sciences, Inc. is leading the development of molecular diagnostic tests based on the mitochondrial genome. The Company is applying its expertise in mitochondrial genomics to continue development of an extensive and proprietary portfolio of blood-based molecular tests for conditions that are currently dependent on poor or absent screening tests or invasive procedures for detection. The endometriosis test will be the third such test, the first two being for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Further tests for ovarian and lung cancer are in the pipeline.