IQuity to Begin Accepting Orders for IsolateMS, the First RNA-Based Test for MSPosted Jun 21, 2017
IQuity to Begin Accepting Orders for IsolateMS,
the First RNA-Based Test for MS
Pioneering blood test, based on lncRNA gene expression data, can identify multiple sclerosis with greater than 90 percent accuracy
Nashville-based specialty diagnostic technology company IQuity will begin taking orders from enrolled physicians for IsolateMS, the first RNA-based diagnostic test for multiple sclerosis (MS), in late May.
IsolateMS analyzes the expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to identify the presence or absence of MS with a high degree of accuracy. Test results are returned to providers in as few as seven days. Current diagnostic processes that rely on clinical assessments combined with MRI and lumbar puncture (spinal tap) can take months or years as providers track the progress of irreversible neurological damage.
The IsolateMS test is ordered by a healthcare provider and can be administered at the earliest sign of symptoms. The test requires only a simple blood draw from the patient.
“Though it uses a blood sample, IQuity’s test is quite different than a conventional blood test,” said IQuity Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Dr. Chase Spurlock. “We isolate and measure the RNA found in the patient’s blood and then analyze their gene expression data to make a determination of the presence or absence of disease using machine-learning technology.”
Blood samples are collected into a special tube called a PAXgene tube and transported to IQuity’s CLIA-certified laboratory in a temperature-controlled package to ensure sample integrity. Once the sample is received at IQuity, molecular technicians begin the testing process by isolating RNA.
Gene expression is a measurement of the extent to which a gene is turned on or turned off. IQuity uses real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), the gold standard for measuring gene expression, to determine the abundance of lncRNAs in a patient blood sample. A series of 46 lncRNA measurements are the data points supplied to IQuity’s machine-learning platform. This analysis results in a determination for MS that is greater than 90 percent accurate.
IQuity will release two additional lncRNA-based diagnostic tests later this year. The first, in gastroenterology, will distinguish between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The second test in the field of rheumatology and primary care will focus on the identification of fibromyalgia syndrome.
IQuity is a specialty diagnostic technology company leveraging machine-learning methods to deliver breakthrough RNA analytics across neurology, gastroenterology and rheumatology. The accuracy of these methods at the earliest onset of symptoms exceeds 90% and offers providers the ability to shorten the diagnostic process for autoimmune disease and related conditions. Most autoimmune diseases take months to years to diagnose. IQuity’s process, IQIsolate, analyzes RNA expression data from a blood sample to identify presence or absence of disease at the cellular level and delivers a result to providers in only 7 days. RNA expression is representative of presence of disease in real time, whereas changes in DNA indicate potential risk of disease.