The Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, founded by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, has awarded a grant to develop Entopsis’ non-invasive, urine- and skin swab-based OpsisDx test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.
The research to bring OpsisDx as a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s will be carried out by Entopsis’ scientific and clinical collaborators at the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) and the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), both located in Singapore.
“Clinical diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is only 80% accurate, which presents a great challenge for treatment and drug trials for the disease; an objective, non-invasive diagnostic method will be transformative,” Tong-Wey Koh, PhD, a principal investigator at TLL, said in a press release.
“We are excited about our work to enhance the ability of the OpsisDx technology to detect Parkinson’s disease and have a shot at fulfilling this unmet need,” he added.
Currently, the diagnosis of Parkinson’s is based on the presence of clinical symptoms, which usually manifest when the disease has already progressed to a more advanced stage. Moreover, these symptoms often overlap with those seen in other diseases, which may further delay diagnosis and therapeutic interventions.
OpsisDx is a non-invasive, low-cost molecular test that uses machine learning to associate signatures of thousands of molecules detected in a urine sample to a particular disease, allowing for a faster, but accurate, diagnosis of multiple conditions.
The test was initially developed to detect early stage cancers, including prostate, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer. Currently, Entopsis is carrying out tests to expand its non-invasive screening platform to other types of cancer, such as colorectal and liver cancer, and infectious diseases, like hepatitis B.
Preliminary studies performed in the U.S. support the potential of OpsisDx for diagnosing people with neurodegenerative disorders.
Research conducted by TLL and NNI will seek to expand findings from these initial studies to develop a cost-effective and accurate diagnostic test for Parkinson’s. If proven to be clinically useful, the test will likely be available first in Singapore and the U.S.
“We are excited to work closely with the team at Singapore and see this collaboration as the first of many international joint efforts,” Obdulio Piloto, PhD, CEO of Entopsis, said.
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