Milestone Triggers Additional RBM Investment in Psynova
AUSTIN, Texas and CAMBRIDGE, England — (October 20, 2009) — Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. (RBM) and Psynova Neurotech Ltd. (Psynova) today announced the discovery and characterization of a combination of protein biomarkers demonstrating utility as an adjunctive aid in the differential diagnosis of schizophrenia. As a result of this clinical milestone, RBM has made additional investments in Psynova, and now has a controlling interest in the company.
“The discovery of this panel was made possible by combining the RBM platform with a carefully collected and controlled set of clinical samples,” said Craig Benson, RBM president and chief executive officer. “We are excited about adding Psynova to the RBM team and continuing our productive relationship with the University of Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research.”
The validation study is based on an analysis of more than 1,100 retrospective blood samples collected at multiple sites from patients subsequently confirmed to be suffering from schizophrenia (both drug-naïve and drug-treated patients), major depression, bipolar disorder other central nervous system disorders, along with age-matched controls. A scoring algorithm based on significant biomarkers was derived from samples collected at a single site. The algorithm was then applied to blinded samples from the other sites and was able to distinguish schizophrenia from bipolar disorder, major depression and normal controls with high sensitivity and specificity. Future studies will refine the test in additional patient cohorts and explore new applications.
“While several psychiatric conditions share symptoms, the clinical interventions vary, making it important to establish an accurate diagnosis as early as possible,” said Dr. Sabine Bahn, co-founder, director, and chief scientific officer of Psynova Neurotech. “We intend to develop a minimally invasive, objective test to aid the early diagnosis of schizophrenia and differentiation from bipolar disorder and major depression.”
The companies have commenced additional clinical studies to evaluate performance and support the intended use as an aid to diagnosis. RBM and Psynova are working with leading psychiatric researchers to gain additional clinical input to insure the maximum benefit for both patients and the healthcare system.
More about Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a complex, seriously debilitating psychiatric disorder affecting approximately 2.4 million people in the United States and 4 million people in the EU. Each year as many as 1.3 million new patients in the United States and 2 million in the EU present with early signs of psychosis. While most of these patients do not have schizophrenia, the medical evaluation is time consuming and expensive, due to its subjective nature. Symptoms can include hallucinations, delusions, disordered thinking, movement disorders, flat affect, social withdrawal, and cognitive deficits, are often undistinguishable from those of other mental health or central nervous system illnesses. Available treatments can relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia and allow people to live independent lives. Studies approximating the benefit of early diagnosis by providing early treatment to high-risk patient groups have demonstrated a substantial improvement in poor outcomes, duration of untreated illness, inpatient days, and time to readmission.
About Rules-Based Medicine
Rules-Based Medicine (RBM) is a CLIA-certified biomarker testing laboratory that solves complex therapeutic development, diagnostic and treatment challenges with innovative products and services. The Company’s proprietary Multi-Analyte Profiling (MAP) platform makes the drug discovery and development process more efficient and effective by providing pre-clinical and clinical researchers with reproducible, quantitative, multiplexed immunoassay data for hundreds of proteins from small sample volumes. Building on the MAP platform, RBM has developed a host of solutions including: a self-contained whole-blood culture system that brings reproducibility and simplicity to ex vivo immune response measurement; novel and companion diagnostic tests for complex diseases and therapies; therapeutic-specific MAPs custom designed for late-stage clinical development; and new assays for the early detection of renal damage. More information about RBM is available via the worldwide web at www.rulesbasedmedicine.com
About Psynova Neurotech Ltd.
Psynova Neurotech was established in 2005 by Dr. Sabine Bahn, MD, Ph.D., MRCPsych, and Professor Chris Lowe, Ph.D. of the University of Cambridge to develop and exploit novel biomarkers for neuropsychiatric illnesses. Building on 15 years of groundbreaking research by Dr. Bahn, Psynova Neurotech has close links with Bahn’s laboratory within the Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research (CCNR) at the University of Cambridge. More information about Psynova Neurotech is available via the worldwide web at www.psynova.com.