Protein biomarker for the early detection of rheumatoid arthritis

Written by Phoebe Heseltine, Future Science Group

Diagnostic service company announces the availability of two new blood tests for aiding the early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Quest Diagnostics (NJ, USA) has recently announced the release of its proprietary 14-3-3eta protein biomarker through a license agreement for the US market with Augurex Life Sciences (BC, Canada). Diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within 12 weeks of onset can help prevent joint damage and increases the prospect of disease remission.

One of the tests provides the level of 14-3-3eta protein within the blood whilst a panel indicates the blood levels of the marker along with the conventional RA markers, cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies and rheumatoid factor. According to Stanley Naides, Medical Director of Immunology R&D, Quest Diagnostics, “These novel assays have significant potential to help physicians identify early stage RA, when treatment can often arrest further disease progression and disability. We believe they are superb examples of the potential of diagnostic insights to promote better outcomes through earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

Many patients are not diagnosed with the condition at the early stage and conventional laboratory tests evaluating the blood levels of the markers are unable to diagnose the condition. According to Walter Maksymowych, International Chair of Outcomes Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials Soluble Biomarker Subcommittee and Medical Research Professor of Medicine, “The key to successful treatment of RA rests with early diagnosis so that appropriate treatment can be instituted before the appearance of joint damage. We still lack the ability to diagnose this disease early in a substantial proportion of patients who may not then receive timely care. The introduction of 14-3-3eta therefore fulfills an important unmet need for both rheumatologists and primary care physicians.” Quest diagnostics have developed, validated and now offer the new tests to patients.

Source: Quest diagnostics launches novel rheumatoid arthritis tests.