Siemens Secures Agreement with Nephromics to Develop Assays to Aid in the Diagnosis of Preeclampsia
Arrangement expands Siemens’ integrated diagnostic solutions to further enhance OB/GYN patient care
Tarrytown, N.Y., August 29, 2011 – Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has entered into a global licensing agreement with Nephromics, LLC to develop two assays to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs during pregnancy and affects both mothers and their unborn children. The assays are being developed for the detection of two biomarkers, soluble fms-like tyrosine-kinase-1 (SFLT-1) and placental growth factor (PLGF), which clinical studies have shown to provide early identification of patients with preeclampsia.
A rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine, preeclampsia affects at least five to eight percent of all pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal and fetal mortality.¹ Pregnant women with preeclampsia may experience swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches and changes in vision; however, some women with rapidly advancing disease report few symptoms. Currently, the standard methodologies for screening at-risk women are routine blood pressure monitoring and testing for protein in the urine during prenatal visits. Unfortunately, with these methods, preeclampsia is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when there are limited treatment options.
“Given the prevalence and associated mortality with preeclampsia, clinicians need better diagnostic tools to identify the condition before it becomes advanced,” said Dave Hickey, CEO, Chemistry, Immunoassay, Automation, and Diagnostics IT Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “The development of assays designed to detect preeclampsia earlier is an evolving area of diagnostic medicine, and we are excited to enter into the agreement with Nephromics to offer these diagnostic solutions to our customers, clinicians and patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement with Nephromics, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics will obtain rights for the development of the SFLT-1 and PLFG assays to be used in conjunction with each other to aid in the diagnosis of preeclampsia. Clinical studies have shown that these assays, when used together, are better predictors of preeclampsia than either marker alone. 234
The addition of these assays would complement Siemens’ existing portfolio of integrated OB/GYN diagnostic solutions, which include both ultrasound imaging and reproductive endocrinology laboratory testing designed to help clinicians address the lifelong reproductive health needs of their patients. Increasingly, healthcare professionals are looking to the integration of in vitro and in vivo diagnostics in the practice of maternal/fetal diagnostic medicine.
“Nephromics is pleased to work with a leader in diagnostic medicine with a strong commitment to advancing maternal/fetal wellness,” said John Gerber, CEO, Nephromics LLC. “Together, I am confident that we will be able to make these tests available to healthcare professionals and their patients throughout the world.”
For additional information about the Siemens OB/GYN diagnostic solutions, please visit www.siemens.com/reproductive-endocrinology for laboratory diagnostics or www.usa.siemens.com/ultrasound for ultrasound imaging.
1. Preeclampsia Foundation. About preeclampsia. http://www.preeclampsia.org/health-information/about-preeclampsia. Accessed 7/18/11
2. Levine, RJ. , et al. Soluble Endoglin and Other Circulating Antiangiogenic Factors in Preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 2006;355:992-1005.
3. Levine, RJ. et al. Circulating Angiogenic Factors and the Risk of Preeclampsia. N Engl J Med 2004;350:672-83.
4. Maynard, SE et al. Excess placental soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt1) may contribute to endothelial dysfunction, hypertension,and proteinuria in preeclampsia. Journal of Clinical Investigation 2003;111:5. 649-658
Nephromics LLC is a Massachusetts based company that develops and provides medical diagnostic services to the biotechnology sector.
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 48,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2010 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.4 billion euros and profit of around 750 million euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.