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Mount Sinai Hospital research leads to earlier detection of preeclampsia

July 15, 2008 -- Mount Sinai Hospital’s Office of Technology Transfer and Industrial Liaison today announced a new licensing agreement with Inverness Medical Innovations to use the biomarker endoglin to develop diagnostic tools for the detection and management of preeclampsia in expectant mothers.

Dr. Isabella Caniggia
Dr. Isabella Caniggia

“Preeclampsia complicates 7 to 10% of all pregnancies and is the leading cause of fetal and maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide,” states Dr. Isabella Caniggia, Principal Investigator and leading research authority on placental development and its associated pathologies with the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital. “The earlier preeclampsia is detected, the better the chances for improved health of both mother and child.”

Inverness Medical Innovations’ and Mount Sinai Hospital’s licensing agreement will see Inverness develop a diagnostic test that could be available in less than five years. Potentially, physicians will use a point-of-care kit to detect and measure increased levels of the biomarker endoglin in expectant mothers at increased risk of preeclampsia.

The licensing agreement is a direct result of leading-edge biomedical research conducted by Toronto scientists, Dr. Caniggia and Dr Stephen Lye of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, and Dr. Martin Post of the Hospital for Sick Children who are co-inventors of the licensed patent rights.

“By linking our excellence in research and patient care with industry leaders in product development and, in particular, health management, we can ensure that our discoveries and insights result in innovative products and services for improved health care, disease prevention and in this case, healthy mothers and babies,” said Terry Donaghue, Director of Mount Sinai Hospital’s Office of Technology Transfer and Industrial Liaison.

Preeclampsia affects 3 million mothers worldwide every year and is associated with premature births and infant illness including cerebral palsy, blindness, epilepsy, deafness and lung conditions. There is no cure for preeclampsia and the cause is unknown. It is estimated that preeclampsia costs the global health care system $3 (US) billion per year.
 

About the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital

The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, a University of Toronto affiliated research centre established in 1985, is one of the world’s leading centres in biomedical research. 32 principal investigators lead research in diabetes, cancer biology, epidemiology, stem cell research, women’s and infants’ health, neurobiology and systems biology. For more information on the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, please visit www.mshri.on.ca
 

Media Contact

Nikki Luscombe 
Communications Specialist 
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
Of Mount Sinai Hospital
Tel: 416 586-4800 x 2046
luscombe@mshri.on.ca