Medical technology company Proteomics International Laboratories (ASX: PIQ) has advanced the application of its ground-breaking predictive diagnostic test, PromarkerD, by signing a research collaboration agreement with US pharmaceutical company Janssen Research & Development, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest companies, Johnson & Johnson.
The ASX-listed company says it at the forefront of what’s known as “predictive diagnostics” and bioanalytical services and specialises in the area of “proteomics” – the industrial scale study of the structure and function of proteins.
PromarkerD is to set be used for diabetic kidney disease treatment research via a joint study that will test the technology in predicting the decline in kidney function and drug response in patients from Janssen’s completed clinical trials.
The news means that Proteomics’ predictive technology will be used to “accelerate drug discovery” with several global applications made possible courtesy of Janssen’s stature and market position.
Proteomics says that its cutting-edge test, PromarkerD, demonstrated its capability in recent laboratory tests by correctly predicting 86% of otherwise healthy diabetics who went on to develop chronic kidney disease within four years.
“We are pleased to be working with one of the largest pharma companies to support rapid treatment development for diabetic kidney disease,” said Dr Richard Lipscombe, managing director of Proteomics International.
Proteomics and Janssen plan to conduct a collaborative study that uses PromarkerD as an early predictor of kidney function in patients who took part in Janssen’s clinical trials and assess how the PromarkerD score correlates with a set of drugs referred to as “gliflozin”, that help to lower blood sugar in adults with diabetes.
In addition to diabetes applications, the collaborative study will also explore heart disease detection. Proteomics has said that the collaboration will evaluate how PromarkerD performs in predicting heart disease, another major complication arising from diabetes.
If successfully developed, diagnosis of cardiovascular risk would be a new application for PromarkerD.
Globally there are 425 million adults with diabetes and already one in three have diabetic kidney disease. Those with diabetes are also more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than those without.
“Gliflozin drugs could be hugely beneficial in improving patient outcomes from diabetes complications and we look forward to determining whether PromarkerD can help in assessing responses to this treatment”, said Dr Lipscombe.
In parallel to the deal announced this morning, Proteomics has begun distributing the first commercial batches of its new PromarkerD immunoassay kits, with first shipments now being dispatched.
Earlier this month, Proteomics announced the completion of production of the immunoassay kit version of the PromarkerD test and presented performance verification results at the 18th annual Diabetes Technology Meeting in North Bethesda, US.
At the technology meeting, Proteomics announced that the PromarkerD protein biomarkers “vastly outperformed both existing diagnostic tests such as the albumin-creatinine ratio urine test and the glomerular filtration rate blood test, in predicting future diabetic kidney disease.
Proteomics shares rose almost 5% this morning on the back of its announced deal with Janssen, with shares trading at $0.43 in the morning session. Furthermore, the spate of positive news in the past few weeks has helped its shares gain more than 91% over the past month.