Meso Scale Discovery Develops Platform to Detect Autoimmune Disease Biomarkers

Ines Martins, PhD avatar

by Ines Martins, PhD |

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Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) has developed a biochemical testing platform that can detect biomarkers involved in autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

The V-PLEX platform can detect the biomarkers IL-17A, IL-21, IL-22, IL-23, IL-27, and MIP-3α in human cell culture supernatants, or liquids, in the blood components plasma and serum, and in urine. Scientists know biological-testing platforms as immunoassay platforms.

Immune cells known as T helpers (Th) play a key role in the body’s immune system. They help regulate the activity of other immune cells by producing cytokines, small proteins important in  cell-to-cell communication.

Th17 cells, which secrete the cytokine interleukin 17 (IL-17), can promote inflammation. They are associated with several autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.

Studies have revealed that lupus patients have higher levels of IL-17 in blood and renal tissue, and higher frequencies of Th17 cells. Th17/IL-17 dysregulation can lead to autoimmunity — the immune system fighting healthy cells in the body.

That makes detecting biomarkers involved in autoimmune diseases important in diagnostics development, basic research, and drug discovery programs.

“These new analytes are of tremendous interest to researchers studying a variety of immune and autoimmune disorders,” Jacob Wohlstadter, president and chief executive officer of MSD, said in a press release. “We are excited to make them available to the scientific community as validated V-PLEX assays.”

James Wilbur, PhD, general manager of MSD, said the “validated V-PLEX immunoassay platform was developed specifically for applications where long-term studies drive crucial decisions, and only the highest quality data will suffice. These assays represent our longstanding commitment to serving our customers.”

MSD said its wide range of assay materials and kits offer better biomarker detection results in each stage of disease development than traditional methods. V-PLEX assays also support research ranging from screening and discovery to drug development, the company said.

The V-PLEX portfolio consists of 46 human assays. The company developed them for scientists studying immunology, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and angiogenic disorders.

The assays are based on MSD’s electrochemiluminescent propriety technology, which the company will ultimately allow scientists to measure important proteins and other biomedical molecules.