Project Portfolio

Project Portfolio

Quick test for STROKE risk diagnosis

  • Vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque identification using blood circulating miRNA biomarkers

  • Point-of-Care microfluidics paperbased analytical device (μPADs) integration (in co-development with Paperdrop Diagnostics S.L.)

Problem to be solved 
Stroke is responsible for more than 10% of deaths worldwide and represents one of the main causes of disability in developed countries. The identification of high-risk patients would allow designing specific therapeutic options to reduce the occurrence of vascular events in this pathology. Current diagnostic techniques for atherosclerotic disease and stroke prediction are costly, invasive and not sensitive enough before plaque rupture. Thus, there is a need to create a new diagnostic method more sensitive and less invasive to detect the disease.
Applications 

This circulating biomarker can be used: 1) to detect vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque in patients with high-grade carotid artery stenosis and to predict the risk of primary and secondary ischemic stroke; 2) as a prognostic biomarker to monitor the effectiveness of the best medical treatment and for the occurrence or restenosis; and 3) for long-term management monitoring and/or outcome prediction after carotid revascularization procedures.

It is intended that health services have available a diagnostic system, based on strips of paper and colorimetry, easy to interpret, that can give a quick, cheap response (without the need for expensive imaging techniques, which are not sensitive enough) for the immediate identification and follow-up of individuals at risk, and able to reach all levels of health in the general population. Moreover, a quick diagnostic test based in our circulating miRNA, in addition to acting as a diagnostic tool, can be a key element in facilitating the decision-making of health professionals.

Technology status 
ICirculating miRNA validated in pilot studies using human serum samples with successfully outcome. A portion of these results is about to be published (Luque et al. (2018) J. Neurosurg, In Press). IP status: A European patent application has been filed (EP16382025.1) and the PCT submission has been requested PCT/EP2017/051316
Market opportunity 
The global acute ischemic stroke diagnosis and treatment market is expected to reach US$1.869 billion before the end of 2020. It is progressing at a CAGR of 6.3% within a forecast period from 2014 to 2020. The market was valued at US $1.225 billion in 2013, according to the findings of a research report released by Transparency Market Research. The exclusive exploitation of the circulating miRNA biomarker, which offers the diagnostic determination to assess the risk of ischemic stroke, can place the ISR-TEST as one of the first diagnostic products for neurology based on the use of biomarkers.
Background 
Carotid artery atherosclerosis has become one of the major high risk mechanism for the occurrence of ischemic stroke, which represents more than 80% of all cerebrovascular events. In clinical practice, the degree of carotid artery stenosis and plaque neovascularization evaluated through imaging techniques such as contrast-enhanced ultrasound, positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/TC), and magnetic resonance is being considered a most important predictor of carotid plaque vulnerability and, consequently, of increased risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease. Nevertheless, a major limitation of the present imaging techniques is their application only in advanced stages of atherosclerotic disease. Thus, novel diagnostic markers using minimally invasive approaches are needed for a more specific and sensitive prediction of atherosclerosis load and progression, and particularly, to reliably identify patients with high-risk carotid plaques for early and accurate stroke risk stratification.
Technology 
Our biomarker, a serum miRNA with diagnostic and prognostic potential, has been associated for the first time with atherosclerotic disease of the carotid artery. Therefore, this novel and independent biomarker for vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque identification will facilitate primary and secondary ischemic stroke risk prediction, and may assist monitoring the effectiveness of medical treatment in these patients. Thus, developing the Ischemic Stroke Risk-TEST (ISR-TEST) we aim to obtain a diagnostic tool for the prediction and monitoring the risk of ischemic stroke based on the combination of two novel concepts: 1) the use of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers, and 2) the technology of μPADs (microfluidics paper-based analytical device) based on the design of microfluidic devices in paper support, developed by the collaborating spin-off Paperdrop Dx. The paper-based device is characterized by its low cost, ease of use and portability, all without sacrificing the sensitivity and specificity obtained in laboratory tests. Our development platform facilitates, adapt and deploy the accurate analysis of said circulating miRNA biomarker in one-step test through a single drop of blood.
Technology Readiness Level 
Technology Validated in Relevant Environmentclinical Trial Planning
We are looking for 
License Agreement
Co-development
Investment
Inventors 
Aran JM (IDIBELL)
Patent No. 
EP3196317

Quick test for STROKE risk diagnosis

We are looking for 
License Agreement
Co-development
Investment
Patent No. 
EP3196317
Highlights 
Vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque identification using blood circulating miRNA biomarkersPoint-of-Care microfluidics paperbased analytical device (μPADs) integration (in co-development with Paperdrop Diagnostics S.L.)
Problem to be solved 
Stroke is responsible for more than 10% of deaths worldwide and represents one of the main causes of disability in developed countries. The identification of high-risk patients would allow designing specific therapeutic options to reduce the occurrence of vascular events in this pathology. Current diagnostic techniques for atherosclerotic disease and stroke prediction are costly, invasive and not sensitive enough before plaque rupture. Thus, there is a need to create a new diagnostic method more sensitive and less invasive to detect the disease.
Applications 

This circulating biomarker can be used: 1) to detect vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque in patients with high-grade carotid artery stenosis and to predict the risk of primary and secondary ischemic stroke; 2) as a prognostic biomarker to monitor the effectiveness of the best medical treatment and for the occurrence or restenosis; and 3) for long-term management monitoring and/or outcome prediction after carotid revascularization procedures.

It is intended that health services have available a diagnostic system, based on strips of paper and colorimetry, easy to interpret, that can give a quick, cheap response (without the need for expensive imaging techniques, which are not sensitive enough) for the immediate identification and follow-up of individuals at risk, and able to reach all levels of health in the general population. Moreover, a quick diagnostic test based in our circulating miRNA, in addition to acting as a diagnostic tool, can be a key element in facilitating the decision-making of health professionals.

Technology status 
ICirculating miRNA validated in pilot studies using human serum samples with successfully outcome. A portion of these results is about to be published (Luque et al. (2018) J. Neurosurg, In Press). IP status: A European patent application has been filed (EP16382025.1) and the PCT submission has been requested PCT/EP2017/051316
Market opportunity 
The global acute ischemic stroke diagnosis and treatment market is expected to reach US$1.869 billion before the end of 2020. It is progressing at a CAGR of 6.3% within a forecast period from 2014 to 2020. The market was valued at US $1.225 billion in 2013, according to the findings of a research report released by Transparency Market Research. The exclusive exploitation of the circulating miRNA biomarker, which offers the diagnostic determination to assess the risk of ischemic stroke, can place the ISR-TEST as one of the first diagnostic products for neurology based on the use of biomarkers.
Background 
Carotid artery atherosclerosis has become one of the major high risk mechanism for the occurrence of ischemic stroke, which represents more than 80% of all cerebrovascular events. In clinical practice, the degree of carotid artery stenosis and plaque neovascularization evaluated through imaging techniques such as contrast-enhanced ultrasound, positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/TC), and magnetic resonance is being considered a most important predictor of carotid plaque vulnerability and, consequently, of increased risk of stroke in patients with carotid artery disease. Nevertheless, a major limitation of the present imaging techniques is their application only in advanced stages of atherosclerotic disease. Thus, novel diagnostic markers using minimally invasive approaches are needed for a more specific and sensitive prediction of atherosclerosis load and progression, and particularly, to reliably identify patients with high-risk carotid plaques for early and accurate stroke risk stratification.
Technology 
Our biomarker, a serum miRNA with diagnostic and prognostic potential, has been associated for the first time with atherosclerotic disease of the carotid artery. Therefore, this novel and independent biomarker for vulnerable atherothrombotic plaque identification will facilitate primary and secondary ischemic stroke risk prediction, and may assist monitoring the effectiveness of medical treatment in these patients. Thus, developing the Ischemic Stroke Risk-TEST (ISR-TEST) we aim to obtain a diagnostic tool for the prediction and monitoring the risk of ischemic stroke based on the combination of two novel concepts: 1) the use of circulating miRNAs as biomarkers, and 2) the technology of μPADs (microfluidics paper-based analytical device) based on the design of microfluidic devices in paper support, developed by the collaborating spin-off Paperdrop Dx. The paper-based device is characterized by its low cost, ease of use and portability, all without sacrificing the sensitivity and specificity obtained in laboratory tests. Our development platform facilitates, adapt and deploy the accurate analysis of said circulating miRNA biomarker in one-step test through a single drop of blood.