Ezose Sciences Forms Alliance with Fast Forward to Discover Biomarkers to Diagnose Multiple Sclerosis
Ezose Sciences Inc. today announced an alliance with Fast Forward, LLC, a subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, to use Ezose's GlycanMap® technology in the discovery of biomarkers to help diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS) and improve disease management.
GlycanMap® technology enables the study of glycomics via automated analysis of the sugar molecules known as glycans that attach to proteins in the body and affect their biochemical function. The speed and high-throughput of this technology hold the potential to discover new biomarkers and targets that can improve the diagnosis and management of disease and enhance the efficiency of development of new therapeutic options.
To execute the research program, Ezose will collaborate with Anthony Reder, M.D., Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine and a recognized expert in the clinical and laboratory research of multiple sclerosis. The research goal is to discover new biomarkers associated with MS, enabling earlier, surer diagnosis of the disease, distinguishing it from other neurological disorders, and to identify sub-types of MS. These biomarkers would then be incorporated in diagnostic tests to improve prognosis, aid in therapy selection, and evaluate response to therapy. They would also be useful in guiding the development of new therapies by increasing R&D speed and efficiency.
Under the terms of a sponsored research agreement, Ezose will receive up to $390,000 from Fast Forward to support the project.
“In its support of biotechnology companies, Fast Forward is establishing a model to combine the innovation of researchers in industry with the insights of leading physician-scientists at academic medical centers,” said Scott A. Siegel, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Ezose. “We at Ezose are eager to start work with Professor Reder to leverage the potential of our unique glycomics technology and serve people living with multiple sclerosis.”
“This alliance with Ezose is another example of Fast Forward's commitment to identifying promising technology and novel treatment approaches to bridge the gap between research discoveries and product development that will speed efforts to stop MS, restore function and end the disease forever,” said Timothy Coetzee, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer of the National MS Society.
MS is a chronic, unpredictable neurological disease that affects the central nervous system. It involves an immune system attack against the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. These problems may be permanent or may come and go. According to the National MS Society, at least 400,000 Americans have MS, and every hour someone is newly diagnosed. MS affects about 2.1 million people worldwide.
Glycomics is the study of glycans, the sugar chains that during the biochemical process known as glycosylation become attached to many proteins expressed by human cells. The particular glycans involved may crucially determine the function of the resulting glycoprotein and its role in health and disease.
Glycomics is a natural complement to genomics and proteomics, but it has traditionally been hindered by the lack of practical high-throughput and quantitative technologies. Ezose's proprietary GlycanMap® platform addresses this need by combining, in an automated 96-well format, high-throughput glycan enrichment with specialized MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and custom bioinformatics to both structurally identify and quantitate glycans present in complex biological samples. Such glycans can serve as novel biomarkers to aid in the development of drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests, including companion diagnostics. In addition, glycomics holds potential for uncovering new therapeutic targets and mechanisms and for guiding the development and manufacture of glycosylated biologics and biosimilars.
Ezose (pronounced ā-zōse) Sciences Inc., based in Pine Brook, NJ, is dedicated to advancing glycomics to improve scientific understanding and healthcare. Ezose's proprietary GlycanMap® technology platform brings a new dimension to biomarker discovery by enabling glycomics research on a scale comparable to that of genomics and proteomics. Ezose offers glycomics capabilities ranging from glycan analytics and biomarker discovery to diagnostic development and commercialization. The company tailors these capabilities to the needs of corporate partners under collaborative R&D and analytical-services agreements.
Established in 2009 as a US company, Ezose is an affiliate of the Diagnostics Division of Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan.
For more information, visit www.ezose.com.
About Fast Forward, LLC
Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward accomplishes its mission by connecting university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and by funding small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. More information can be found at www.fastforward.org.
About The National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move forward with their lives. In 2011 alone, through its national office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted $164 million to programs and services that assisted more than one million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $40 million to support more than 325 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
Forward Looking Statements
This announcement contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on expectations in light of the information currently available, assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements. Risks and uncertainties include general domestic and international economic conditions such as general industry and market conditions, and changes of interest rate and currency exchange rate. These risks and uncertainties particularly apply with respect to product-related forward-looking statements. Product risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, completion and discontinuation of clinical trials; obtaining regulatory approvals; claims and concerns about product safety and efficacy; technological advances; adverse outcome of important litigation; domestic and foreign healthcare reforms and changes of laws and regulations. Also for existing products, there are manufacturing and marketing risks, which include, but are not limited to, inability to build production capacity to meet demand, unavailability of raw materials and entry of competitive products. The company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.