By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report
Massachusetts-based molecular laboratory Interleukin Genetics has reached an agreement with the New York University School of Medicine to develop a genetic test that would identify patients at risk for the progression of osteoarthritis, one of the most common conditions afflicting the aging U.S. population.
As many as 40 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis, or about one in nine people. The degenerative disease is one of the leading drivers for joint replacement surgery.
Interleukin has developed some testing technology that can identify genes associated with joint inflammation. The company and NYU jointly own a patent application for the detection process.
“The license agreement with NYU School of Medicine represents an expansion of our product portfolio based upon a large and growing body of evidence that links Interleukin-1 gene variations to a host of inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis,” said Lynn Doucette-Stamm, Interleukin’s vice president of development and clinical operations, in a statement.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“The availability of genetic-based tests that predict progression of osteoarthritis has the potential to aid not only in the treatment, but also in the development of disease modifying drugs, which do not currently exist for OA,” said Mukundan Attur, director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases Rheumatology Research Laboratory, in a statement. “A lot of drugs for OA have failed in the past, but now that patients can be selected in a targeted way for treatment they are much more likely to be successful.”