Prometheus Laboratories is teaming up with scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for a research program that aims to identify and validate biological markers of mucosal healing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The collaboration will be led by Prometheus co-founder Jonathan Braun, M.D., chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine, and professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
Researchers at Dr. Braun’s laboratory will work to correlate genotoxicity markers to mucosal healing and disease activity in IBD patients. Prometheus will evaluate additional markers of inflammation and other markers already associated with the diagnosis and prognosis of IBD.
The firm will fund the UCLA research in exchange for rights to any resulting IP. Prometheus currently holds a license to technology invented by Dr. Braun.
“We have come to realize that symptom response is not a true indication that a drug has been effective in stopping the progression of IBD,” Dr. Braun comments. “We need to look at mucosal healing as a more accurate predictor of effective response. There is a need for a noninvasive biomarker of mucosal healing as currently this has been seen using a colonoscopy.”
The UCLA collaboration comes just 24 hours after Prometheus announced an agreement to provide Bayer Schering Pharma with services for the mutational analyses of clinical samples from patients in the latter’s oncology studies.