Dr. Isabella Caniggia's research has provided strong evidence that preeclampsia is characterized by abnormal placenta formation leading to persistent low oxygen being delivered to the developing fetus during pregnancy. A primary protein in this mechanism is HIF-1, a key regulator of the response to this low oxygen setting and an activator of expression of the often-noted protein biomarker Endoglin. A subunit of HIF-1, known as HIF-1 alpha (HIF-1a), is a key marker in Miraculins' preeclampsia suite and part of a well-characterized pathway involved in preeclampsia. The hydroxylated form of HIF-1a (HIF-1aOH), a form which appears as part of the elimination of HIF-1a from the system, represents a novel biomarker with potential for use in developing diagnostic assays, or risk assessment tools, for the early detection of preeclampsia.
About Dr. Isabella Caniggia
As a Senior Investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Dr. Isabella Caniggia is a leading authority on placental development and preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is the most common complication of pregnancy, affecting seven to 10 per cent of all pregnancies, and yet there is no cure and the cause is unknown. This common disease can lead to blindness, epilepsy, deafness and cerebral palsy in newborns, and to hypertension, cardiac problems and diabetes later in life. Dr. Caniggia and her team have made progress in identifying genetic alterations, or biomarkers, that predicts whether pregnant women will have early- or late-onset preeclampsia. The earlier preeclampsia is detected, the better the chances for improved health of both mother and child. Dr. Caniggia holds several patents on potential diagnostic tools and clinical practices.
About the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital
Established in 1985, the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the world's leading centres for biomedical research. The Institute is part of Mount Sinai Hospital, an internationally recognized academic health science centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. Research at the Lunenfeld is focused on women's and infants' health, cancer biology, stem cell biology, neurobiology, diabetes, arthritis, genetic disorder research and systems biology. The Lunenfeld's internationally recognized and award winning researchers continue to make leading-edge discoveries in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, psychiatric disorders, kidney disease, women's and infants' health, inflammatory bowel disease, and spinal cord injury. For more information about the Lunenfeld, please visit www.lunenfeld.ca.
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 effective detection method for the risk of preeclampsia and the cause is unknown. It is estimated that preeclampsia costs the global health care system US$3 billion per year.
About Miraculins Inc.
Miraculins is a medical diagnostic company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing non-invasive tests for unmet clinical needs. A significant number of promising diagnostic opportunities remain un-commercialized because of the sizable gap between the discovery stage, when research institutions are typically involved, and the commercialization stage, when the larger commercial enterprises become interested. Miraculins has direct experience in bridging this gap. The Company's PreVu® technology is a revolutionary new coronary artery disease risk assessment technology that measures cholesterol levels in a patient's skin non-invasively, painlessly and without the need for fasting. Miraculins is also advancing a suite of biomarkers to aid in the early detection of the devastating disease of pregnancy known as preeclampsia. The lead marker in the Company's preeclampsia program is partnered with Alere Inc., one of the world's largest diagnostic companies. For more information, visit www.miraculins.com.
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