Cardiff, UK – 19th July 2012 – EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, a worldwide manufacturer of point of care in-vitro diagnostic devices, has announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Joslin Diabetes Center (“Joslin”), a teaching, research and clinical care affiliate of Harvard Medical School, to license certain novel kidney biomarker technology. The licensed biomarkers were developed by Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, MD, PhD, Head of Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and his laboratory team at Joslin, as accurate early predictors of patients at high risk of end stage kidney disease.
The licence will provide EKF’s wholly owned subsidiary, Argutus Medical Ltd, with exclusive rights to the Joslin’s Intellectual Property surrounding two markers, Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor 1 and 2, that, when found elevated in the blood stream, can help identify patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at increased risk of developing end stage renal disease up to ten years in advance. Clinical tests that are currently available cannot identify people at risk of end stage renal disease with a high level of precision.
EKF will work in partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center to further validate the findings for the two markers and develop clinical diagnostic tests to accurately identify diabetes patients with an increased risk of developing end stage kidney disease.
“We believe these biomarkers can be very useful predictors of early and late renal function decline in patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Krolewski. “Working closely with the team at EKF, we hope to translate our scientific findings to improve clinical care for patients who are at risk of kidney damage.”
Kidney complications are one of the most life-threatening complications of diabetes. About a half a million people in the US have end stage kidney disease, which requires treatment through dialysis or kidney transplantation. Nearly 44% of these cases are due to diabetes. Currently, there is no accurate non-invasive test to identify patients at high risk of end stage kidney disease.
Commenting, Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, said: “We are really excited at the prospect of working with the world’s most prestigious diabetes centre to deliver a genuine and tangible benefit to patient management. We have focused on the delivery of high quality diagnostic tools at EKF and this license fits well with our existing development plans for point of care tests for acute kidney injury.”
For further information, please visit www.ekfdiagnostics.com.
About EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
The EKF Diagnostics Group has expertise across the entire in vitro diagnostics chain, from fermentation and enzyme production, to the manufacture of liquid reagents, the design and building of world-class diagnostic devices and the distribution of rapid test kits for infectious diseases and pregnancy. The EKF range of analysers are a trusted brand, with over 45,000 analysers worldwide being used in GP surgeries, pharmacies, blood banks, sports clinics, hospitals and laboratories for the measurement of glucose, lactate, haemoglobin, haematocrit and HbA1c.
To date, the EKF Diagnostics Group has distributors in more than 70 locations around the globe. EKF Diagnostics’ strengths lie in its multi-national research and manufacturing facilities, teams of experienced analysts and engineers in Germany, Ireland, USA and the UK, and a board led by some of world’s foremost authorities in medical diagnostics.
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc is an AIM listed company with its head office in Cardiff. In 2010 EKF made three acquisitions – Quotient Diagnostics Limited in Walton-on-Thames, Argutus Medical in Dublin and Stanbio Laboratory in Boerne, Texas.