NEW YORK — Australian diagnostics firm SpeeDx said on Monday that it has partnered with Nepean Hospital to commercialize a host gene expression biomarker test for respiratory viral illness.
According to SpeeDx, researchers at New South Wales-based Nepean Hospital have identified a gene, called IFI27, that is strongly correlated with disease progression in influenza and COVID-19.
Under the terms of the exclusive deal, SpeeDx will work with the scientists to develop an assay that uses IFI27 expression to support risk-based management of severe respiratory disease patients. According to the company, the test will be based on its In Signia technology for gene expression measurement and will run on standard lab equipment.
Additional terms were not disclosed.
"The availability of a simple diagnostic test that can accurately differentiate viral from bacterial causes of pulmonary disease, using a single-gene host biomarker, would transform patient management," Charles Cartwright, VP of scientific affairs at SpeeDx said in a statement. "Coupled with a pathogen detection assay and other disease indicators, this test can not only stratify patients based on risk of adverse disease progression, changes in the level of biomarker over time can inform more accurate prognoses and guide ongoing patient management decisions."