SkylineDx and Imperial College London sign global patent license agreement for Kawasaki Disease
ROTTERDAM (the Netherlands), SAN DIEGO (US), October 12, 2021: today, SkylineDx announced it has entered into an exclusive patent license agreement with Imperial College London for the worldwide development and commercialization of a diagnostic test for Kawasaki Disease (KD), an acute inflammatory disease that predominantly affects infants and young children. Timely diagnosing KD is difficult as symptoms and features resemble many other common pediatric conditions including bacterial and viral infections, autoimmune disease and allergic reactions. Imperial College London filed a patent application on a promising diagnostic approach based on the expression levels of specific genes in the blood of children with KD that identifies the disease, allowing for early diagnosis and treatment .
Kawasaki Disease has an unknown origin and causes inflammation of arteries, particularly in the heart, which can lead to the development of aneurysms (widening of the arteries), potentially resulting in long-term risk of cardiovascular complications, including blood clots, (partial) blockage of blood vessels, progression to coronary artery disease, and in some cases heart attack or sudden death. Studies show that early treatment is key in reducing the risk of lifetime heart damage, but unfortunately a rapid and accurate laboratory test is not yet available.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Imperial College London which further validates SkylineDx’ long-term investments to R&D in the field of molecular diagnostics”, comments Dharminder Chahal, CEO SkylineDx. “Our dedicated Kawasaki team is fully up and running and we intend to move quickly in the current development phase in order to have this test in hospitals fast”.
Michael Levin, Professor of Paediatrics and International Child Health and leader of the Imperial team that discovered the RNA gene signature for KD, said: “We’re delighted that the gene signature for Kawasaki Disease we identified after years of research will be turned into a test through our collaboration with SkylineDx. We hope that the test will enable earlier diagnosis and treatment of children with Kawasaki Disease worldwide”. Professor Levin’s Pediatric Infectous Disease group is an internationally leading research group on the genetics, Immunology, diagnosis and treatment of Kawasaki Disease. The group works in close collaboration with Dr Jane Burns, Professor at the UC San Diego Kawasaki Disease Research Center.
SkylineDx is a biotechnology company, focused on research & development of molecular diagnostics in oncology and inflammatory diseases. The company is headquartered in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and complemented with a field medical and scientific affairs team in the US and a CAP/CLIA certified laboratory in San Diego (California). SkylineDx uses its expertise to bridge the gap between academically discovered gene expression signatures and commercially available diagnostic products with high clinical utility, assisting healthcare professionals in accurately determining the type or status of disease or predict a patient’s response to treatment. Based on test results, healthcare professionals can tailor the treatment approach to the individual patient. To learn more, please visit www.skylinedx.com.
About Imperial College London
Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 20,000 students and 8,000 staff are working to solve the biggest challenges in science, medicine, engineering and business. Imperial is the world’s fifth most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK's most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry. Imperial staff, students and alumni are working round-the-clock to combat COVID-19. Imperial has nearly two thousand key workers, and is at the forefront of coronavirus epidemiology, virology, vaccine development and diagnostics. More than one thousand Imperial staff and students are volunteering to support the NHS.
Link to this press release on website SkylineDx (click here)
Wright et al. Diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease Using a Minimal Whole-Blood Gene Expression Signature. JAMA Pediatrics 2018;172(10):e182293 (click here)