SkylineDx inks collaboration agreement with Imperial College London and UCSD on diagnostic test Kawasaki Disease
ROTTERDAM (the Netherlands), SAN DIEGO (US), LONDON (UK), September 10, 2020: SkylineDx, announces a collaboration agreement with Professor Michael Levin’s group at Imperial College London and Professor Jane Burns’ group at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, for the joint development of a diagnostic test which will facilitate early diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease (KD). KD is a rare, acute inflammatory disease with an unknown origin that causes inflammation of arteries, particularly in the heart, and predominantly affects infants and children below 5 years of age. Without treatment, 33% will develop aneurysms (widening of the arteries) that result in life long risk of heart attacks. Early treatment with antibodies or drugs that switch off inflammation can prevent such damage, but unfortunately timely diagnosis is difficult as KD symptoms and features resemble many other common pediatric conditions including bacterial and viral infections, autoimmune diseases and allergic reactions. A laboratory test that supports physicians in diagnosing KD rapidly and accurately, is not yet available. This collaboration aims to assess the technical feasibility of such a test on a broadly used lab platform: real-time PCR.
“The test is based on 13 genes that form a “gene signature” in the blood of children with KD, which enables KD to be distinguished from other infectious and inflammatory diseases”, explains Michael Levin, Professor of Pediatrics and International Child Health at Imperial College London, whose team discovered the gene signature. “There is an urgent need for a reliable diagnostic test in order to prevent many children with KD worldwide from being diagnosed too late. With timely treatment we can reduce serious complications of the heart vessels from 25% to 5%”.
“Professor Michael Levin and his team in the Department of Infectious Disease have an international reputation for research on pediatric infectious diseases. We are very impressed with the dedication and research done by them to care for these children”, continues Dharminder Chahal, CEO SkylineDx. “It is a big step for our company as we are applying our know-how outside of oncology for the first time and our teams are making significant progress in the assay development efforts”.
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.
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)