Lophius Biosciences, a German developer of T cell-based diagnostic systems, has joined the NEU² consortium with a project aimed at developing its T-Track MS as a blood-based test that can diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS) in the initial stages and monitor its progression.
The two-year project has received a grant of more than €350,000 from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under the BioPharma initiative.
The T-Track MS test aims to address the unmet clinical needs by offering a quick and reliable blood-based differential diagnosis of the disease, which complements the current clinical and MRT-based diagnosis.
The company recently collaborated with the Clinic and Policlinic for Neurology, University of Regensburg, and the Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research, Centre for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg to evaluate MS test, the initial data of which has demonstrated preliminary clinical proof of principle.
Lophius Biosciences managing directors Dr Michael Lutz and Prof Ralf Wagner commented: "Both the opportunity to interact with leading experts in the MS field, as well as the substantial funding will accelerate the development of our highly innovative T cell-based diagnostic T-Track MS test kit and help Lophius to initiate a broader clinical discovery and development programme."
Lophius Biosciences has developed several platform technologies, including the Reverse T Cell Technology (RTT), which diagnoses T cell-mediated diseases.
RTT acts as an indirect measure for activated T helper (Th) cells and performs specific interaction with them to exploit the maturation processes induced in antigen presenting cells (APC), unlike the existing methods.
High specificity of RTT for activated Th cells makes the use of an RTT assay the authentic detection of disease-specific activated Th cells, and as a novel biomarker to diagnose and monitor diseases such as MS, which are autoimmune in nature.
The NEU² consortium, which includes Merck KGaA, Evotec, European ScreeningPort, Bionamics, focuses on the development of new therapies against neurological diseases with a specific focus on multiple sclerosis.