SLE Biomarker Signatures to Be Studied by Immunovia and Sweden’s Lund University

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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SLE diagnostics and monitoring

Immunovia AB, together with Lund University in Sweden, will launch a new program to develop, validate, and commercialize antibody array-based tests for differential diagnostics and for prediction and monitoring of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) flares.

SLE is one of the hardest diseases to diagnose as its symptoms are similar to those of diabetes, blood and thyroid disorders, fibromyalgia, or rheumatoid arthritis, lending it the title of “the great imitator.”  “It is estimated that 5 million people suffer from SLE worldwide, with 100,000 new cases reported every year. Due to the challenge of diagnosing SLE patients correctly, there is an immediate clinical need for a blood-based test such as IMMray™ SLE,” Immunovia CEO Mats Grahn said in a press release.

Immunovia is now expanding the applications of IMMray™, the company’s proprietary antibody biomarker-based technology platform, to autoimmune diseases.

Researchers at Lund University’s Department of Immunotechnology, led by Prof. Christer Wingren – who developed the IMMray™ technology together with Immunovia’s founder, Prof. Carl Borrebaeck – have been conducting autoimmunity-driven research on SLE for several years. “To our knowledge, there is no single serological or urinary test yet at hand to confirm or rule out SLE. IMMray™ technology has been designed and developed to create a biological snapshot of an individual’s immune response by analyzing serum proteins that change as a sign of disease. This enables highly specific and sensitive biomarker immunosignatures to be derived for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of flares in autoimmune diseases,” Wingren said.

The inaugural stages of the IMMray™ SLE program are covered by a 2 million SEK grant from Vinnova, the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems. “We are grateful for receiving funding from Vinnova for the initial stage of the program and we are looking forward to the validation results and the subsequent introduction of the test into clinical practice,” Grahn said.

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