Nanosphere improves disease detection capabilities

Wendy Emanuel writes "Northbrook, Ill. ñ February 1, 2005 ñ Nanosphere, Inc. today announced it plans to expand the application of the recently reported early detection test for Alzheimerís disease to a variety of other applications, including cancer, coronary artery disease and Mad Cow disease. More… Northwestern University researchers reported in todayís issue of PNAS the development of a bio-barcode assay which is 100,000 times to one million times more sensitive than other available tests in the detection of a protein in the brain linked to Alzheimerís disease. While as many as four million Americans are believed to suffer from Alzheimerís disease, it currently can be diagnosed definitively only after a patientís death.

ìAlzheimerís disease, cancer and many other health conditions are often diagnosed too late for optimal treatment,î said Chad A. Mirkin, Ph.D., George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University and leader of the bio-marker assay research. ìWe now can detect associated protein markers at much lower concentrations than conventional tests, potentially enabling earlier intervention and validation of new therapies for this debilitating disease.î The first marker studied, called an ADDL, was discovered by research collaborator Dr. William Klein, Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, at Northwestern University. Dr. Mirkin believes that multiple markers ultimately will be required for the definitive diagnosis of the disease. This new bio barcode technology offers the ability to simultaneously measure many markers at very low concentrations in a variety of media.

ìThe bio-barcode assay technology, licensed exclusive to Nanosphere, is poised to revolutionize the detection and treatment of a variety of life-threatening diseases,î said William Moffitt, Nanosphere's President and CEO. ìThis is a breakthrough technology that now presents a challenge to the medical community and pharmaceutical industry to identify potential markers that can be evaluated for a variety of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease, infectious diseases and cardiac and pulmonary diseases. Nanosphere looks forward to advancing this breakthrough and expanding the availability of bio-barcode assays for researchers, hospital laboratories, physicians and patients in the near future.î

Bio-barcode assays also have been used for earlier detection of prostate specific antigen, a widely recognized protein linked to multiple cancer types, and are currently in use at various research laboratories in the United States. Nanosphere has provided research laboratories with a manual version of the technology and will provide an automated form later this year.

Nanosphere is a nanotechnology-based life sciences company in Northbrook, Illinois, that is using the application of proprietary nanotechnology to create new standards in medical care and public safety. With a universal Verigeneô product platform for the detection of nucleic acids and proteins, Nanosphere is rapidly advancing the development of assays for genomic and proteomic research, clinical laboratories and point-of-care markets."

Ed. Note: I looked in the Feb. 1st issue of PNAS and could not find the article cited.

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