NEW YORK, February 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ —
Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), is pleased to announce an exclusive option agreement with Washington University in St. Louis. Under the agreement granting the exclusive right to license the technology, Q BioMed will evaluate the feasibility and usability of GDF-15, a novel biomarker for monitoring glaucoma, as a companion diagnostic to the MAN-01 small molecule currently being optimized for the topical treatment of glaucoma.
“The ophthalmology in general and glaucoma sector specifically are currently in an active consolidation and business development cycle. Having access to a truly innovative technology that compliments ours as a companion diagnostic could greatly enhance the value of the Mannin Research MAN-01 technology. We are excited to evaluate this technology and look forward to a new collaborative partnership with a leading institution like Washington University School of Medicine,” said Denis Corin, CEO of Q BioMed, Inc.
Glaucoma is one of the leading cause of blindness worldwide, estimated to affect nearly 100 million people by 2020. The disease is linked to the buildup of pressure within the eye. Such intra-ocular pressure can damage the optic nerve. If the damage progresses, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. Progression of glaucoma is typically monitored through a visual field test, but there has not been a reliable way to measure which patients have a high risk of rapid vision loss.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a marker of damage to cells in the eye that potentially could be used to monitor progression of the disease and the effectiveness of treatment. Growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) is a member of the transforming growth factor (TGF-beta) superfamily and was recently identified as a promising biomarker for glaucoma.
The researchers discovered GDF15 to be a biomarker for glaucoma using an array analysis, which identified chemokines, growth factors, TGF-beta family members and other ligands whose expression increased in the optic nerve crush model of glaucoma but not in endotoxin-induced uveitis or light-induced retinal degeneration models. They also validated GDF15 in both rat models of glaucoma and in patients, showing that its expression correlates with disease severity. Overall, GDF15 represents an attractive biomarker for glaucoma with distinct advantages (i.e., early detection) over conventional clinical tests and has the potential to be a first-in-class diagnostic test. The researchers’ findings were published online May 4, 2017 in the journal JCI Insight.
About Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked seventh in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.
About Q BioMed, Inc.
Q BioMed, Inc. is a biomedical acceleration and development company. We are focused on licensing and acquiring biomedical assets across the healthcare spectrum. Q BioMed is dedicated to providing these target assets the strategic resources, developmental support and expansion capital they need to ensure they meet their developmental potential, enabling them to provide products to patients in need.
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