In the course of our product development, we have engaged in collaborations with academic, clinical and corporate scientists to validate the applicability of our technology and products to biomarker discovery. Through these collaborations, Prospect has consistently demonstrated the ability of the Edge technology to identify unique biomarkers.
In collaboration with the UMass Medical School, Prospect investigated the role of ER chaperones, and other heat shock protein family members, in the T cell changes that occur with the induction of type 1 diabetes. Using Edge technology, the translocation of specific HSP’s between subcellular compartments was discovered, providing the identity of several potential biomarkers for type 1 diabetes.
In a second collaboration at UMass Medical School, Prospect was provided with comparative cell cultures to evaluate the effect of the ER stress-inducing drug thapsigargin on the pathway marker, IRE1. In addition to Edge technology identifying a unique pathway change following treatment with thapsigargin, Prospect identified more than 20 potential biomarkers associated with ER-stress within this specific pathway, including two previously unidentified proteins.
The Company is collaborating with Pel-Freez Biologicals, a supplier of small laboratory animals, to develop diet-based models which simulate certain diseases or dysfunctions.
Animals fed a diet high in fat show significant loss of synaptic function, even after only four weeks of this diet. Brains from rats fed high fat and control diets were analyzed using Edge Technology for several markers of synaptic dysfunction. Initial studies have demonstrated a significant correlation of the biomarker phosphosynapsin with the brains from rats fed a high fat diet.
Recent epidemiological and experimental studies have linked folate deficiency with several neurodegenerative conditions, including stroke, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Livers from rats fed folate-deficient and control diets were compared using biomarkers for oxidative stress. Significant differences in marker distribution within the Edge-separated fractions of the control and treated animals were observed. In addition, 6 biomarkers unique to either the control or treated groups were identified.
The Company recently has begun a collaboration with clinicians at the University Medical and Dental School of New Jersey, to evaluate the applicability of Edge technology to the identification and quantitation of biomarkers for prostate cancer, including those from biopsied tissue samples. Preliminary studies have identified several recurring markers.