News

17th November 2014
Sector(s): ,

EKF Diagnostics enters collaborative relationship with Joslin Diabetes Center

EKF Diagnostics enters collaborative relationship with Joslin Diabetes Center 

Supporting the ongoing clinical and commercial development of early Diabetic Kidney Disease biomarkers

Cardiff, UK – 17th November 2014 – EKF Diagnostics, the global diagnostics company, has entered a multi-year, collaborative relationship with Joslin Diabetes Center (“Joslin”) in support of the ongoing clinical and commercial translation of TNFR1 & 2 biomarkers. These novel biomarkers can help identify patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes that are at an increased risk of developing end stage renal disease (ESRD), up to ten years in advance.

The new agreement between Joslin, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA), and EKF is part of Joslin’s Corporate Liaison Program (CLP). This program seeks to accelerate development, validation and market introduction of unique products and solutions that advance treatments and care for diabetes and its complications.

As globally recognized leaders in the field of diabetes research, Joslin has created the CLP in order to foster industry partnerships within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and device industries. The role of the CLP is to help engage corporate partners, such as EKF, with Joslin’s capabilities in advisory services, clinical expertise, and research infrastructure.  This enables Joslin to work closely with an industry partner to customize its offerings towards a defined product program or a range of corporate priorities within diabetes management.

EKF will access certain clinical and research expertise at Joslin under the CLP to further develop its TNFR biomarker test. The two key objectives of this effort are to:

  • Accelerate the clinical development, as well as understanding physician adoption criteria and trends relating to the TNFR-1/2 test.
  • Advance the research to support the clinical utility of TNFR 1&2 assays as biomarkers in Diabetic Kidney Disease. This will be accomplished in part by leveraging the collaboration of Joslin with certain partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

“We are excited to collaborate with EKF to advance the development of TNFR1/2 as predictive biomarkers of progressive, diabetic kidney disease,” said Nandan Padukone, VP and Head of Global Business Development at Joslin. “Together we hope to identify patients that are at an increased risk of developing ESRD so that better treatment options can be evaluated.”

Julian Baines CEO of EKF Diagnostics Holdings commented, “We are delighted to announce this exciting collaboration which will help us build upon the significant progress we have made in the last two years.  Through our excellent relationship with the Joslin Center we are focused on bringing this test into clinical practice, leading to improved outcomes for diabetic patients at risk of progressive kidney disease”.

This announcement follows an exclusive license agreement between EKF and Joslin in July 2012 to develop and commercialize soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptors 1 and 2 (sTNFR1/2) as predictive biomarkers of progressive Diabetic Kidney Disease.

For more information about EKF Diagnostics, please see www.ekfdiagnostics.com

Editors’ notes

Joslin Background:

Joslin Diabetes Center, located in Boston, MA, and an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is a leading institution at the forefront of research, clinical care and education in diabetes, obesity and related complications. Joslin treats over 25,000 patients each year in Boston, and has a network of more than 40 affiliates across the US who collectively experience over 300,000 patient visits each year. Joslin maintains an active database of electronic medical records (EMR) which consists roughly of 30,000 individual patient records followed longitudinally since 2000.

With over 35 laboratories and 300 researchers, Joslin’s research programs cover the spectrum from beta cell biology, immunology, genetics and epidemiology, hormone actions, adipose biology to vascular complications, obesity factors, and outcomes research. It maintains active bio-banks of patients with T1D and T2D, integrated with clinical data and analyzed for molecular characteristics using genomic, proteomic and metabolomic methods. In addition, Joslin Research Division has an active Clinical Research Center with over 150 active protocols at any time.

EKF’s TNFR biomarker background:

In July 2012, EKF signed an exclusive license agreement with the Joslin Diabetes Center (“Joslin”), to license certain novel kidney biomarker technology. The licensed biomarkers were developed by Dr. Andrzej Krolewski, MD, PhD, Head of Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and his laboratory team at Joslin.  Dr. Krolewski was recently recognized for his significant contribution to the field of diabetes epidemiology on receiving the prestigious 2014 Kelly West Award.

The license provides EKF with exclusive rights to the Joslin’s Intellectual Property surrounding several markers including, Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor 1 and 2 (TNFR1/2), that can help identify patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D) that are at an increased risk of developing end stage renal disease, up to ten years in advance. EKF has worked in partnership with the Joslin Diabetes Center and collaborators in France and Finland to further validate the findings.

About EKF Diagnostics

www.ekfdiagnostics.com

EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc, which includes the EKF Diagnostics, EKF Molecular, Stanbio Laboratory, Separation Technology Inc, DiaSpect and Selah Genomics brands, specializes in the development, production and worldwide distribution of point-of-care blood analyzers for use in the detection and management of diabetes, anemia, lactate and kidney related diseases. Its new molecular division, EKF Molecular Diagnostics, focuses on technology used within the development of companion diagnostics, specifically within oncology.  EKF products are sold in more than 100 countries around the globe, through a network of specialist distributors.

Point-of-care diagnostics: EKF Diagnostics designs and manufactures world-class diagnostic devices, as well as distributing rapid test kits for infectious diseases and pregnancy. The EKF analyzer range is used widely in GP surgeries, pharmacies, blood banks, sports clinics, hospitals and laboratories for glucose, lactate, hemoglobin, hematocrit and HbA1c measurement.

Central laboratory: EKF, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stanbio Laboratory (Boerne, Texas, USA), manufactures a comprehensive range of clinical chemistry reagents. In addition, EKF Life Sciences (Elkhart, Indiana, USA) manufactures enzymes used in reagent development and also provides contract fermentation facilities.

Molecular Diagnostics: In March 2013 EKF set up a new division to focus on molecular and companion diagnostics following the acquisition of UK-based 360 Genomics. EKF Molecular Diagnostics’ technology, PointMan™, is capable of detecting mutant genes from tiny biopsy and blood samples and has recently entered a partnership with the world renowned cancer research center at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA.

EKF Diagnostics’ strengths lie in its multi-national research and manufacturing facilities, teams of experienced analysts and engineers in Germany, Ireland, USA and the UK, and a board led by some of world’s foremost authorities in medical diagnostics.