Progentec Signs Agreements to Develop, Commercialize MS Technologies

Progentec Signs Agreements to Develop, Commercialize MS Technologies
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Progentec has established new licensing agreements with Stanford University and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to commercialize and sell laboratory technologies related to multiple sclerosis (MS), the company announced.

The technologies include laboratory tests for the prediction of MS relapses, measurements of MS disease activity, classification of the related disorder neuromyelitis optica, and the assessment of treatment responses to interferon therapies.

The company is also developing digital biomarkers to measure and predict changes in MS disease activity using digital data from validated surveys and wearable device data.

These tests are expected to be available in 2021 and will be marketed under the brand name aiMS DX. Each will be accompanied by digital tools that enable better patient engagement.

Similar tools are also being developed for systemic lupus erythematosus, another autoimmune condition. Most lupus tests are already being investigated in pivotal clinical studies, whereas the MS tools are in the proof-of-concept stage.

“The use of blood-based laboratory tests for the measurement of multiple sclerosis disease progression offer an opportunity for clinicians to intervene more proactively to increased disease activity, potentially limiting the brain damage experienced by patients,” Mohan Purushothaman, president and CEO of Progentec, said in a press release.

Progentec has also developed MultipleSclerosisCorner, a health literacy website geared toward MS patients that covers topics such as sleep and stress reduction strategies, diet, exercise, and relationship management, as well as information related to MS diagnosis and monitoring.

Additionally, the company announced the formation of an MS scientific advisory board to provide strategic guidance and therapeutic expertise as it expands its list of products.

Members include Robert C. Axtell, PhD, at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, whose research has been focused on molecular and cellular immunology in MS and neuromyelitis optica; Jeffrey Dunn, MD, a professor of clinical neurology at Stanford; Gabriel Pardo, MD, the director of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence; Lawrence Steinman, MD, a professor at Stanford whose research has been focused on MS remissions and relapses and led to the development of Tysabri (natalizumab); and Gregory F. Wu, MD, PhD, a professor at Washington University who has been dedicated to understanding the adaptive immune system in the central nervous system.

“Each member of our Scientific Advisory Board has a track record of successfully transitioning products from the research laboratory into clinical practice,” Purushothaman said. “Their guidance will propel Progentec towards our mission of developing technologies that support clinician decision making and improve patient outcomes.”

Forest Ray received his PhD in systems biology from Columbia University, where he developed tools to match drug side effects to other diseases. He has since worked as a journalist and science writer, covering topics from rare diseases to the intersection between environmental science and social justice. He currently lives in Long Beach, California.
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Inês holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal, where she specialized in blood vessel biology, blood stem cells, and cancer. Before that, she studied Cell and Molecular Biology at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and worked as a research fellow at Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. Inês currently works as a Managing Science Editor, striving to deliver the latest scientific advances to patient communities in a clear and accurate manner.
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Forest Ray received his PhD in systems biology from Columbia University, where he developed tools to match drug side effects to other diseases. He has since worked as a journalist and science writer, covering topics from rare diseases to the intersection between environmental science and social justice. He currently lives in Long Beach, California.
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