Molecular Stethoscope Develop Novel Blood Tests To Detect And Monitor Organ Damage

Molecular Stethoscope Develop Novel Blood Tests To Detect And Monitor Organ Damage
Blood tests are a vital part of the diagnostic process, helping physicians make the correct diagnosis and determine the appropriate course of treatment. In fact, about 50% of the information in the average medical chart comes from laboratory data, and blood tests inform approximately 70% of medical decisions. Thanks to major technological advances and a better understanding of what goes wrong at the molecular level when we get sick, the number of blood-detectable conditions are exploding.

The San Diego-based startup Molecular Stethoscope is developing a blood-based early detection and disease-monitoring test. Their proprietary technology utilizes circulating cell-free RNA in blood to monitor organ damage. The startup has measured RNA levels from many healthy individuals, and has established baseline levels of tissue-specific RNA. Deviations from these levels can indicate organ-specific disease, providing a real-time “snapshot” of organ health and allowing for a rapid, accurate, and non-invasive evaluation of healthy and diseased states.

The company’s test target a multibillion dollar market and could potentially revolutionize diagnosis and drug development for a variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, liver diseases, coronary artery disease and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Through earlier disease detection and intervention the startup aim to decrease healthcare costs, and could have a major effect in changing the everyday life of patients worldwide. They are specifically targeting diseases with critical need of better diagnostic tools and where early detection could be the difference between life and death. By potentially monitoring these diseases, they are turned into manageable chronic diseases that could give rise to new treatment options and strategies that significantly improve quality of life.

The promising startup was co-founded by Stephen Quake and Eric Topol, two of the biggest contributors to the science behind circulating cell-free RNA-based diagnostics. Stephen Quake has received numerous international awards and has founded several companies, including Fluidigm, Helicos Biosciences, Verinata Health, Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, Moleculo Cellular Research and Immumetrix. Eric Topol is the Director of Scripps Translational Science Institute, and was voted the #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in the US in 2012 in a poll conducted by Modern Healthcare. He is editor-in-chief of Medscape and, and has published books that explore how technology democratize healthcare.

Molecular Stethoscope earlier in 2016 announced a collaboration with 23 US medical and academic institutions, and received more than 700 serum and plasma samples from their partners to continue validating the innovative diagnostics approach. Samples from patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, ALS, and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease will be used to provide insight into these diseases and how RNA change in response to treatment.