February 10th, 2016
Immunovia and Lund University start clinical validation studies of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) biomarker signatures
Immunovia initiates a new program to focus on the development, validation and commercialization of antibody array based tests for differential diagnostics and for prediction/monitoring of flares for SLE also known as “lupus”.
LUND, Sweden ― Immunovia AB announced today that the company is expanding the applications area of IMMray™, its proprietary antibody biomarker based technology platform, to autoimmune diseases.
“It is estimated that 5 million people suffer from SLE worldwide, with 100,000 new cases reported every year. Due to the challenge of diagnosing SLE patients correctly, there is an immediate clinical need for a blood-based test such as IMMray™ SLE”, said Mats Grahn, CEO, Immunovia.
A new group of expert investigators was formed for a large autoimmunity project at the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University. The principal investigator is Professor Christer Wingren, who developed the IMMray™ technology, together with Immunovia’s founder Prof Carl Borrebaeck. Over the last few years, they have been conducting autoimmunity-focused research on SLE. One of the most difficult to diagnose and monitor autoimmune diseases, SLE is also known as “the great imitator” because its symptoms are similar to rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, thyroid and, blood disorders, diabetes, etc.
The initial stages of the IMMray™ SLE program are covered by a grant of 2 million SEK from Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
“To our knowledge, there is no single serological and/or urinary test yet at hand to confirm or rule out SLE. IMMray™ technology, has been designed and developed to create a biological snapshot of an individual’s immune response by analysing serum proteins that change as a sign of disease. This enables highly specific and sensitive biomarker immunosignatures to be derived for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of flares in autoimmune diseases.” said Christer Wingren, Professor Department of Immunotechnology, Lund University.
“We are grateful for receiving funding from Vinnova for the initial stage of the program and we are looking forward to the validation results and the subsequent introduction of the test into clinical practice,” said Mats Grahn, CEO, Immunovia.
For more information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Immunovia
For media relations:
Laura Chirica, PhD
Chief Commercial Officer, CCO, Immunovia
Read more about Immunovia and IMMray™ technology: www.immunovia.com
Immunovia AB was founded in 2007 by investigators from the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University and CREATE Health, the Center for Translational Cancer Research in Lund, Sweden. Immunovia’s strategy is to decipher the wealth of information in blood and translate it into clinically useful tools to diagnose complex diseases such as cancer, earlier and more accurately than previously possible. Immunovia´s core technology platform, IMMray™, is based on antibody biomarker microarray analysis. The company is now performing clinical validation studies for the commercialization of IMMray™ PanCan-d that could be the first blood based test for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. (Source: www.immunovia.com)
Immunovia’s shares (IMMNOV) are listed on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm and Wildeco is the company’s Certified Adviser. For more information, please visit www.immunovia.com.
About Immunotechnology Department at Lund University, Sweden
The Department of Immunotechnology carries out research and higher education in research areas spanning from advanced technology developments to biomedicine. The main research areas are within oncology, allergy and antibody engineering, using advanced technologies developed in-house. These include advanced large-scale mass spectrometry, different types of microarray technologies (affinity proteomics), phage display and bioinformatics. They also provide genomics and proteomics services to customers, e.g. other research groups at Lund University. The application of advanced technologies to solve complex biomedical challenges has taken the department to the forefront in several of the described research areas.
About Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) also known as “lupus”
It is estimated that 5 Million people suffer of SLE worldwide, with 100,000 new cases every year. Due to the challenge of diagnosing correctly SLE patients, the incidence of new cases has been reported to range between 1 and 10 per 100,000 person-years, while overall prevalence varies between 20 and 70 per 100,000. A recent US study estimated 1,500,000 US SLE patients (Lupus Foundation of America, Center for disease control and prevention: SLE). In Sweden, there are approximately 5000 SLE patients with 400 new patients diagnosed per year.
Vinnova is Sweden’s innovation agency. Their mission is to promote sustainable growth by improving the conditions for innovation, as well as funding needs-driven research.
Vinnova’s vision is for Sweden to be a world-leading country in research and innovation, an attractive place in which to invest and conduct business. Vinnova promotes collaborations between companies, universities, research institutes and the public sector. They do this by stimulating a greater use of research, by making long-term investment in strong research and innovation milieus and by developing catalytic meeting places. Vinnova’s activities also focus on strengthening international cooperation. In order to increase their impact, they are also dedicated to interacting with other research financiers and innovation-promoting organisations. Every year Vinnova invests about SEK 2.7 billion in various initiatives.
Vinnova is a Swedish government agency working under the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications and acts as the national contact agency for the EU Framework Programme for R&D. They are also the Swedish government’s expert agency within the field of innovation policy. Vinnova was founded in January 2001.