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Glaucoma Diagnostic Targeted by Mannin Research, McMaster University Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Q BioMed announced today that its technology partner Mannin Research will collaborate with the Biointerfaces Institute at McMaster University to develop a biomarker-based glaucoma diagnostic assay.

According to New York City-based Q BioMed, the protein biomarker — called growth differentiation factor 15, or GDF15 — can be used to determine the severity of glaucoma and to make treatment decisions. It was discovered at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and exclusively licensed by the company earlier this month.

Mannin Research currently has a small molecule-based treatment for glaucoma in preclinical development, and under the terms of the collaboration it will work with the Biointerfaces Institute to develop a GDF15-based companion diagnostic for the drug. The assay, which will use DNA aptamers to detect GDF15 in aqueous humor, will also be designed for stand-alone diagnostic use at the point of care, according to Q BioMed.

Under a 2015 agreement, Q BioMed holds a license to Mannin's platform technology with an option to acquire the assets.

"Currently, no single examination or diagnostic test is able to accurately predict disease progression, and we believe GDF15 can help preserve visual function in glaucoma patients through accurate monitoring of disease progression," Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin said in a statement.