Ciphergen Biosystems and The Ohio State University Research Foundation (OSURF) inked a collaborative agreement to develop and clinically validate a diagnostic test to detect thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). "A clinical diagnostic test that can rapidly detect deficiencies in the enzyme activity associated with TTP will help physicians more effectively manage this disease," points out Haifeng M. Wu, M.D., assistant professor of pathology and medicine and director of clinical coagulation laboratory at Ohio State University Medical Center. "This test will help physicians determine when to initiate plasma exchange and monitor response to this therapy."
"Working together with Dr. Wu and OSURF, we will optimize a SELDI-based test, which has the advantage of reproducibly and accurately measuring the product of the enzymatic reaction that underlies this disease," says Eric T. Fung, M.D., Ph.D., CSO for Ciphergen Biosystems. "Current testing methods to diagnose TTP lack this quantitation and ease of use."
Under the terms of the agreement, OSURF and Ciphergen will optimize the assay to measure enzyme and antibody inhibition activity and will jointly conduct multicenter studies to validate the test.
TTP is a blood disorder characterized by low platelets, low red blood cell count (caused by premature breakdown of the cells), neurological abnormalities, and sometimes abnormalities in kidney function. In most cases, this disease is caused by a deficiency in or auto-antibodies to an enzyme called ADAMTS13, which cleaves von Willebrand Factor. Loss of this enzyme causes platelet clumping and red blood cell destruction that are the hallmarks of TTP.