Simple MS Blood Test Said to Be Able to Diagnose Disease at Symptom Onset
IQuity Labs, which specializes in diagnostic tests for autoimmune and other diseases, recently announced that it has received $2 million in seed funding to support the launch of its test panels, diagnostic tests designed to confirm the presence or absence of disease at the very onset of symptoms. The first to debut, in early to mid-2016, will be a test for multiple sclerosis (MS).
“People often search for years to find answers that will help them address symptoms related to autoimmune disease,” said IQuity’s CEO, Dr. Chase Spurlock, in a press release. “It’s our goal to equip providers with a tool to diagnose patients faster so they can lead happier, healthier lives.”
Panels to diagnose other autoimmune diseases will be released during the second half of 2016. The company also plans to launch tests — still under development — for diseases related to the fields of gastroenterology and rheumatology later this year.
The company provided little information about the test in its statement, other than to note that is minimally invasive, using a simple blood draw ordered by a healthcare provider. The test was developed within the research community at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and supported by peer-reviewed grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“We are excited to work with IQuity to facilitate the commercialization of Vanderbilt University technology that provides the opportunity to transform the diagnostic process for providers and positively impact the lives of millions of patients,” said Alan Bentley, the university’s assistant vice chancellor for technology transfer.
IQuity notes that early diagnosis and treatment can great improve a patient’s quality of life, and reduce both the personal and economic costs of a disease.
“The rapid success of our fundraising effort is a result of our investors being directly affected by autoimmune disease. They believe in the science and how it can positively impact millions of patients,” concluded Julia B. Polk, COO and CFO of IQuity Labs.
The NIH estimates the cost of autoimmune disease to be $100 billion yearly, and says that one in every 20 Americans live with some form of the disease.