US-based diagnostic information services provider Quest Diagnostics has launched new blood tests for the early diagnosis of autoimmune disorder rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which causes debilitating joint damage.
The tests use a proprietary 14-3-3eta protein biomarker, which the company licensed from Augurex Life Sciences in October 2012.
One test offers results of 14-3-3eta blood levels, while the other comprehensive panel provides results of blood levels of the novel marker, as well as the conventional RA markers cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies and rheumatoid factor (RF).
Studies have shown that the 14-3-3eta test diagnosed 60-82% of patients with RA compared to RF alone (32-82%) or CCP antibody alone (44-82%).
Diagnosis and initiation of treatment of RA within 12 weeks of symptom onset is expected to help prevent joint damage, improve long-term function and increase the likelihood of achieving disease remission, according to the company.
Quest Diagnostics R&D immunology medical director Stanley Naides said; "We believe they are superb examples of the potential of diagnostic insights to promote better outcomes through earlier diagnosis and treatment."
Augurex Life Sciences chief executive officer Norma Biln said; "We believe that Quest’s expertise in immunology and leading diagnostic services position is the best way for 14-3-3eta to reach US physicians and patients who can benefit most from it."
Quest Diagnostics said the laboratory-developed tests will be offered through its advanced clinical laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, Califonia, US.