Company to Develop and Commercialize Genomics-Based Tests to Improve
Organ Transplant Outcomes
BROOKLINE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Transplant Genomics Inc. (TGI) announced that it has obtained an
exclusive license to patent rights co-owned by The Scripps Research
Institute and Northwestern University that provide the foundation for
clinical tests to improve management of organ transplant recipients,
with the potential to extend lives and reduce costs of associated
healthcare. TGI intends to develop and commercialize tests that use
genomic markers of transplant graft status as part of a surveillance
program to detect and respond to early signs of graft injury.
This licensing agreement provides TGI with access to a broad portfolio
of intellectual property related to kidney and liver transplant
diagnostics, including immune status monitoring and optimization. TGI’s
scientific founders, Dr. Michael Abecassis (Northwestern Medicine) and
Dr. Daniel Salomon (The Scripps Research Institute), have been
recognized for their work on discovery and validation of novel
biomarkers of graft and immune status for solid-organ transplants.
“The scientific founders of TGI have uniquely combined biomarker
discovery with clinical validation and insight to set the stage for
high-impact collaborations designed to move the transplant field
forward,” explained Stanley Rose, PhD, President & CEO of Transplant
Genomics and a kidney transplant recipient. “Working with the transplant
community, TGI will bring these vital advances in biomarkers of
transplant status from bench to clinic. Clinicians will be able to
access clear, actionable information to optimize immunosuppression
therapy to improve graft survival.”
TGI’s first test will be used to routinely monitor kidney transplant
recipients, indicating when treatment or biopsy is required based on
analysis of a patient’s blood. As described in a study involving seven
transplant centers recently published in the American Journal of
Transplantation,1 peripheral blood gene expression
profiling was used to classify kidney graft recipients into three key
categories of graft status (acute rejection, acute dysfunction no
rejection, and stable graft performance) with very high predictive
accuracy. Ongoing prospective studies will reveal how far in advance of
dysfunction these signatures can be detected, and whether they can be
used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment. The need for such
improved tests is highlighted by the fact that more than 15% of kidney
transplant patients with normal serum creatinine levels, the most
commonly used indicator of graft injury, show signs of rejection when
their grafts are analyzed by protocol biopsy up to one year
“TGI’s tests could be used for serial patient monitoring in stable
patients with good kidney function to better inform decisions about
immunosuppression,” stated Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, Founding Director
and Chief Clinical Advisor of TGI and Founding Director of the
Comprehensive Transplant Center at Northwestern University’s Feinberg
School of Medicine. “The test will also find a major and immediate
application in circumstances where a sudden elevation in creatinine is
noted by the clinician and a biopsy is not possible because of
“The danger of subclinical acute organ rejection is well recognized as a
significant cause of late graft loss but nearly impossible to diagnose
since doing serial biopsies is not feasible,” explained Dan Salomon, MD,
Founding Director and Chief Scientific Advisor of TGI and Professor at
The Scripps Research Institute. “A minimally invasive blood test could
be used to predict clinical rejection, to diagnose subclinical
rejection, and to monitor treatment to assure clinicians that the
therapy was fully effective.” TGI is committed to making minimally
invasive tests commercially available to transplant recipients for this
purpose, delivering on the promise of clinical application of biomarker
About Transplant Genomics Inc.
Transplant Genomics is a molecular diagnostics company committed to
improving organ transplant outcomes. Working with the transplant
community, TGI will bring vital advances in diagnosis and prediction of
transplant status from bench to clinic, supporting clinicians with
clear, actionable information to optimize immunosuppression therapy,
enhance patient care and improve graft survival. Tests will be made
commercially available through a CLIA lab, with an initial focus on
For more information, go to www.TransplantGenomics.com.
1. Kurian SM, Williams AN, Gelbart T, et al. Molecular classifiers for
acute kidney transplant rejection in peripheral blood by whole genome
gene expression profiling. Am J Transplant2014;5(14):1164-1172.
2. Rush D, Somorjai R, Deslauriers R, Shaw A, Jeffery J, Nickerson P.
Subclinical rejection—a potential surrogate marker for chronic
rejection—may be diagnosed by protocol biopsy or urine spectroscopy. Ann
3. Moreso F, Ibernon M, Goma M, et al. Subclinical rejection associated
with chronic allograft nephropathy in protocol biopsies as a risk factor
for late graft loss. Am J Transplant 2006;6(4):747-752.
4. Nankivell BJ. Subclinical renal allograft rejection and protocol
biopsies: quo vadis? Nat Clin Pract Nephrol 2008;4(3):134-135.
For Transplant Genomics Inc.
Ed Stevens, 727-412-1541
Source: Transplant Genomics Inc.