A blood test for multiple sclerosis? Expect one in late May

MedCityNews – The medical toolbox for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) has progressed in leaps and bounds over the last two decades, as highlighted by the recent approval of Ocrevus for the most severe and treatment-resistant form of the disease.

Despite this success, the underlying disease mechanisms and triggers are not well understood. This makes diagnosis a challenge — with very high stakes. The longer the disease progresses without treatment, the more irreversible neurological damage can be done.

To that end, Nashville, Tennesee-based IQuity will launch a first-of-its-kind blood test for MS in late May. The technology, originally licensed from Vanderbilt University, analyzes long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in the patient’s blood to identify patterns indicative of the disease.

“To our knowledge, we’re going to be the first blood-based RNA test for multiple sclerosis, and definitely among the first – if not the first – in the field of autoimmune diseases,” said Chase Spurlock, CEO and cofounder of IQuity, via phone.

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