Galectin-3 diagnostic will be developed for Siemens’ automated immunoassay platforms.

BG Medicine entered into an agreement with Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics for the development and commercialization of a galectin-3 test for Siemens’ automated immunoassay platforms for clinical laboratories. Elevated galectin-3 levels are associated with an inherently progressive form of heart failure that is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or death.

BG Medicine’s manual galectin-3 assay was recently cleared by the FDA as an aid in assessing the prognosis of patients diagnosed with chronic heart failure. The automated assay to be developed for Siemens is expected to offer laboratories a convenient way to measure galectin-3 in plasma or serum.

“Galectin-3-mediated cardiac fibrosis is proving to be an important underlying condition in certain patients with chronic heart failure, and studies suggest that at least 30% of patients with chronic heart failure may have this form of the disease,” notes Pieter Muntendam, M.D., president and CEO of BG Medicine.

“This partnership with Siemens will allow the many hospitals around the world that rely on Siemens instruments for their laboratory operations to meet the demand for galectin-3 testing using existing systems and workflow.”

Under the agreement Siemens will be responsible for the development of the test in accordance with certain plans and milestones, and the companies will collaborate on regulatory filings. Over 2009 and 2010, BG Medicine inked similar agreements for the development and commercialization of automated galectin-3 assays with other diagnostic laboratory instrument manufacturers including Abbott, Alere (formerly Inverness Medical), and bioMérieux.

BG Medicine also has an arrangement with Cordex Pharma to measure levels of galectin-3 in patients enrolled in the latter’s Phase II trial of CDP-1050 in heart failure patients. CDP-1050 targets the redox-nitric oxide imbalance, which is increasingly recognized as a major factor in poor myocardial contractile efficiency, Cordex reports.

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