BILLERICA, Mass.—EMD Millipore, the Life Science division ofMerck KGaA, and Proteomics International, a mass spectrometry and proteincharacterization services provider in Perth, Australia, has announced acollaboration to validate biomarkers for diabetic nephropathy, a progressivekidney disease. Per the terms of the agreement, Proteomics International willuse EMD Millipore's multiplex immunoassays to assess its thirteen newlyidentified putative protein biomarkers, which include proteins related toinflammation, metabolism and oxidative stress. Once the biomarkers arevalidated, they could have applications in monitoring both the progression andprognosis of diabetic nephropathy in diabetes patients.
"We expect this opportunity will enable EMD Millipore toexpand our substantial portfolio of ELISA and MILLIPLEX multiplexed-bead basedassays for diabetes and metabolic disease biomarkers," Jehangir Mistry, Ph.D.,Director of Research and Development at EMD Millipore, said in a press release."In addition to their biomarkers, Proteomics International brings access tolarge, highly stratified patient cohorts in Australia to validate assayperformance. This will help us determine the clinical utility of the biomarkersfor development of potential diagnostic tests for diabetic nephropathy."
Diabetic nephropathy is a condition prevalent in diabetespatients in which the nephrons, small structures in the kidney that filterblood and remove waste, thicken and become scarred over time, according toMedline Plus of the National Library of Medicine, part of the NationalInstitutes of Health. As a result, "the kidneys begin to leak and proteinpasses into the urine." The condition represents a significant complication forthose with diabetes, as 10 to 20 percent of the 280 million people sufferingfrom diabetes worldwide are expected to die of kidney failure.
The microalbumin test is the current standard for screeningpatients for diabetic nephropathy, but the biomarker, which is found in urine,has limited usefulness when it comes to predicting and monitoring progressionof the disease. However, several newly identified biomarkers exhibit potentialfor enhancing the current screening methods by identifying a signature ofbiomarkers in the blood that will be better predictors. ProteomicsInternational will also put to use its sample repository of relevant clinicalspecimens to test additional biomarkers from EMD Millipore.
"We chose to partner with EMD Millipore because of theirextensive portfolio of developed protein biomarkers and custom assaydevelopment expertise," Richard Lipscombe, Ph.D., Managing Director ofProteomics International, said in a press release. "We are very excited to beworking with EMD Millipore to progress our initial discovery of thesebiomarkers that could improve diagnosis and health outcomes on such a largescale."
SOURCE: EMD Millipore press release