REGENSBURG, Germany, and OXFORD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Leading NMR diagnostics company numares AG today announced that the company signed an exclusive licence agreement with Oxford University Innovation. This allows numares to translate and exploit preliminary work of Oxford University on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) biomarkers for the development of an urgently needed in-vitro diagnostics (IVD) test able to detect disease progression earlier to improve patient management and outcome. The exclusive licence enables numares to further develop the biomarkers into a multi-marker based diagnostic test and commercialization thereof.
In about 85% of patients with MS, the disease initially takes a relapsing-remitting course. Most patients with "relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)" will eventually transition to "secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)" with continuous worsening of symptoms. This transition occurs subtly and is difficult to define clinically, requiring retrospective evaluation of the disease course over the past 12 months. This delay in diagnosis prevents timely adoption of treatment regimens for effective patient management and improved long-term clinical outcomes.
The collaboration between Oxford University and numares began in 2017 with the common goal to validate a set of biomarkers, which had been previously identified by Oxford researchers, for detecting transition from RRMS to SPMS. This used clinical data acquired from a multi-centre cohort collected by Oxford’s partners.
numares provided its proprietary AXINON® IVD System that delivers standardized Magnetic Group Signaling (MGS®) measures of metabolite levels in patient samples from Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (NMR). Based on such NMR data, the company develops multi-marker algorithms for several diagnostic tests, by combining relevant biomarkers into "biomarker constellations" and applying machine learning and other modelling approaches.
"We are enthusiastic to enter the next phase of the collaboration and utilize Oxford's excellent preliminary scientific work and numares' expertise for the development of an MS IVD test based on the multi-marker approach," comments Volker Pfahlert, CEO of numares. "Our mission is to improve patient care by providing better diagnostic tools to help physicians better manage their patients. This fruitful collaboration with Oxford researchers gets us closer to our mutual goal to bring first class research to the bedside of MS patients."
Professor Daniel Anthony, Head of Experimental Neuropathology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford and lead scientist on the project, adds:
"We are very pleased to have such an experienced industrial partner in numares to commercialize our research findings as a breakthrough test, which enables early detection of the transition from RRMS stage to SPMS stage for the first time. This will have a significant impact on the care of individuals living with MS. The test opens up the possibility to monitor the condition more closely and thus improve therapeutic decision making."
The IVD development will start in 2022. In early 2021, both parties also agreed to extend their partnership for another two years and expand the approach of multi-marker use in diagnostics to the field of Alzheimer's disease.