Inova licenses Dutch tech for RA Dx development

San Diego's Inova Diagnostics licensed some new technology developed in The Netherlands it hopes to apply to a rheumatoid arthritis diagnostic.

Neither side is disclosing financial details, but Inova gains an exclusive, global licensing deal for tech developed by Leiden University Medical Center to detect autoimmune antibodies to carbamylated proteins, also known as anti-CarP. Scientists there believe autoimmune anti-CarP appears in a large number of rheumatoid arthritis patients. Early detection of their presence, they assert, could help researchers attack the rheumatoid arthritis sooner, or even develop a drug that could prevent the disease from hitting.

Particularly noteworthy here: a large subgroup of rheumatoid arthritis patients who have the antibodies haven't yet been able to take advantage of a targeted biomarker test. And so Inova smells opportunity here, to fill an important gap. Inova CEO Roger Ingles said as much in a prepared statement included in the licensing deal announcement.

"We believe the anti-CarP technology represents a significant advance in the diagnosis of RA, helping to close the serological gap that exists with current biomarkers," Ingles said.

The push to develop and increase access to new rheumatoid arthritis diagnostic tests is drawing investor attention. Earlier this month, Crescendo Bioscience drew $28 million in new Series D financing to accelerate commercialization of its rheumatoid arthritis molecular diagnostic blood test, which is designed to measure 12 different biomarkers common to rheumatoid arthritis and give a snapshot of the disease's status at a given point in time.

Inova launched initially in 1987. The Werfen group bought the company in 2008, according to Inova's website.

- read the release

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