Lexington, Mass. – September 7, 2017 - Quanterix Corporation, a company digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health, today announced that it is hosting a webinar on the potential for a blood test to diagnose and quantify neurodegenerative diseases. The webinar will highlight new research demonstrating the promise of Neurofilament Light protein (NfL) as a biomarker for the therapeutic progression of Huntington’s disease. The webinar will take place on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m., EDT.
The discussion will feature Dr. Edward Wild, MRC Clinician Scientist at the UCL Institute of Neurology and Principal Investigator at UCL Huntington’s Disease Center, and Lauren Byrne, Research Assistant and PhD student to Dr. Wild at the Huntington’s Disease Center at the UCL Institute of Neurology, who will both discuss the advancements they’ve achieved through ultra-sensitive biomarker analysis, enabled by Quanterix’ Simoa technology. The two will be joined by Dr. Andreas Jeromin, Consulting neurologist at Quanterix and co-author of more than 100 scientific publications in the neurology space.
During the webinar, Dr. Wild and Byrne will present new research that demonstrates the reliability of NfL as a biomarker for the progression of Huntington’s disease and the promise of a blood test for the disease. The study, which was published in The Lancet Neurology, and led by Dr. Wild and his team, used Simoa to monitor levels of NfL protein in plasma. The study compared 200 individuals who had been tested for, and shown to have genes associated with Huntington’s disease with 100 individuals who were not shown to be at risk for the disease. Researchers found that levels of NfL protein were higher in people with Huntington’s disease, and elevated in people who carried the gene for the disease, but were many years away from showing any symptoms. Researchers also found that NfL levels rose as the condition worsened, thus validating NfL as a promising prognostic blood biomarker of disease onset and progression in Huntington's disease.
“The potential for a blood test to be able to diagnose and predict the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s, is a game changer for tens of thousands of individuals,” said Kevin Hrusovsky, Executive Chairman and CEO of Quanterix, and Founder of the Powering Precision Health Summit. “Our Simoa technology has been instrumental in facilitating this research, and other findings that are accelerating precision medicine, bringing unprecedented levels of sensitivity and allowing researchers to see minute concentrations of biomarkers like NfL. We’re thrilled to be able to host Dr. Wild and Byrne as they share their groundbreaking findings.”
About 30,000 Americans suffer from Huntington’s disease and at least 150,000 others have at least a 50 percent chance of developing the disease, according to The Huntington’s Society of America. The disease has historically been challenging to diagnose as typical symptoms can be reflective of other neurodegenerative diseases and a preliminary diagnosis consists of subjective exams, including an assessment of motor, sensory and psychiatric symptoms. A blood test could provide an objective and accurate way to diagnose the disease.
“Researchers have been working to identify blood biomarkers to track the progression of Huntington’s disease for years. Through the ultra-sensitive biomarker analysis we achieved with Simoa, we’ve found NfL to be a meaningful biomarker, showing how a simple blood test could hold the answer for improved treatment options for patients,” said Dr. Wild. “Byrne and I are excited for the opportunity to share our work with the greater research community in the hopes of further accelerating the possibility of a blood test to predict the progression of Huntington’s disease.”
To register for the webinar, please visit: http://www.quanterix.com/resources/webinars/predicting-progression-neurodegeneration-blood-test-how-neurofilament-light.
Quanterix is a company that’s digitizing biomarker analysis with the goal of advancing the science of precision health. The company’s digital health solution, Simoa, has the potential to change the way in which healthcare is provided today by giving researchers the ability to closely examine the continuum from health to disease. Quanterix’ technology is designed to enable much earlier disease detection, better prognoses and enhanced treatment methods to improve the quality of life and longevity of the population for generations to come. The technology is currently being used for research applications in several therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, cardiology, inflammation and infectious disease. The company was established in 2007 and is located in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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