Resonance Health is pleased to announce that it has filed a provisional patent for the discovery and use of novel blood markers to determine an individual’s iron status. These blood markers have been identified as part of the Company’s molecular medicine R&D program.
At present, a very common blood test (serum ferritin, ‘SF’), is routinely used as a proxy for the iron status of a patient. Globally, clinicians use SF as a diagnostic tool, and as a substitute for MRI to monitor liver iron in thalassemia and other iron loading conditions where access to MRI is limited or prohibitively expensive.
Although SF is routinely used, it is an acute phase reactant and can be affected by the presence of many other conditions such as inflammation, infections, cancer, and obesity. Additionally, once SF reaches a saturation point, the correlation between SF and total body iron stores breaks down. Consequently, as the Liver Iron Concentration (LIC) reaches this ‘saturation point’, it becomes increasingly challenging for a clinician to assess risk, determine chelator dosing, and effectively monitor response to therapy.
Whilst the use of FerriScan® (R2-MRI) remains the global gold standard for quantifying LIC, the Company is actively pursuing alternative biochemical methods to assist clinicians to diagnose and monitor iron overload in locations where access to MRI is limited.
In a recent unpublished study of 59 subjects (30 thalassemics and 29 normal subjects) who underwent MRI for LIC quantification (using FerriScan®), the Company reports that a combination of 3 newly identified biomarkers performed better than SF in predicting LIC across all clinically relevant thresholds: normal (below 3.2 mg/g of dry weight); low (3.2 to 7); medium (7 to 15) or; high (>15.0).
Due to these positive results, the Company has now filed a provisional patent for the discovery of these biomarkers and will continue to investigate their usefulness as an alternative screening and monitoring tool in patients with suspected iron overload such as thalassemia, anaemias and other clinically important conditions that affect iron homeostasis. Specific details of the novel blood markers will remain confidential pending patent and due to additional data gathering and analysis.