NEW YORK (360Dx) – Q BioMed said today that it has exercised its option to exclusively license the biomarker, growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15), from Washington University in St. Louis for determining the severity of glaucoma.
Expression levels of the biomarker can be used to determine the severity of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness, and to make decisions about treatment, the firm said. Accurate monitoring for disease progression is critical to preserve visual function in glaucoma patients, and no diagnostic test or examination currently exists to serve that function, Q Biomed said.
The firm said that GDF15 — discovered by Rajendra Apte, a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis — has potential for use in a diagnostic test and has advantages over conventional clinical tests, including the potential to enable early detection. GDF15 has been validated in both mouse and rat models and confirmed in human patients with glaucoma.
Q BioMed said that with a technology partner, Mannin Research, it is developing a small molecule therapeutic to treat glaucoma, and that offering both a diagnostic and a therapeutic would address the needs of patients and physicians.