SynapDx to commence autism Dx trials in early 2013

SynapDx plans to begin clinical trials early next year for a blood test that could lead to the early detection of autism. (via reports that researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have had some success already using the blood test on boys. SynapDx licensed the test from the hospital and confirmed the planned clinical trials to Time.

For the initial trial, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston compared 66 patients with autism spectrum disorders and 33 patients who did not have the condition. In their test, they found autism-specific markers unique to the autistic patients and narrowed them down to 55 genes that were reliable predictors for about two-thirds of those with autism. The researchers said the test appears to be as effective as other genetic tests for autism currently in use. SynapDx says on its website that the test approach measures RNA gene expression differences.

So far, the researchers said, the test has limits, because it generates enough false positives to not be used to screen all children who might have the disease. In other words, the article notes, plenty of testing remains before the test becomes a definitive tool.

SynapDx, an early-stage startup based in Southborough, MA, describes itself on its website as an early-stage startup specifically focused on autism spectrum disorders, which affect 1 in 110 children, according to data they cite from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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