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FKBPL, a new plasma biomarker for early indication of pre-eclampsia risk

Description:

Pre-eclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death globally. By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths annually. Despite extensive research, there are currently no reliable early biomarkers and no preventative or treatment strategies for pre-eclampsia, other than delivery.

 

 

TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have identified that levels of FKBPL[1,2], when assessed in plasma, can act as an early biomarker of pre-eclampsia when tested between trimester 1 and trimester 2 of pregnancy. This means that a prediction of a patient’s likelihood to develop the disorder can be established.

 

In pregnant plasma samples from a prospective longitudinal study in women with Type 1 diabetes[3] protein plasma levels demonstrated statistically significant reduction between visit 1 (12.2 ± 1.9 weeks) and visit 2 (21.6 ± 1.5 weeks) within individual women with Type 1 diabetes who developed PE post 34 weeks of gestation (p=0.013; Fig. 1). There were no longitudinal changes in levels in women with Type 1 diabetes and without pre-eclampsia or control group without diabetes. Our in vitro work suggests that these changes in FKBPL levels are potentially driven by placental hypoxia which occurs post 20 weeks gestation (Fig. 2).

 

KEY ADVANTAGES

FKBPL Offers indication of pre-eclampsia risk stratification from as early as 20 weeks’ gestation.

Existing tests on the market such as Elecsys only offer indication up to 4 weeks before onset, post 30 weeks gestation.

 

COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITY

Clinical positioning – could be used as a rule-out test to exclude patients from costly in-patient monitoring. This could be especially useful in territories coving wide geographical distributions.

Could be used for co-development as companion dx with emerging treatments. The research group also work extensively on mechanistic association between FKBPL and hypoxia in metabolic conditions.

 

PLASMA FKBPL SHOWED SIGNIFICANT DECREASE BETWEEN TRIMESTER 1 AND TRIMESTER 2 IN DIABETIC PATIENTS WHO SUBSEQUENTLY DEVELOPED PRE-ECLAMPSIA which is most likely driven by placental hypoxia

 

Figure 1. Plasma FKBPL is downregulated between trimester 1 and trimester 2 only in women with Type 1 diabetes who develop preeclampsia. FKBPL plasma levels were significantly reduced between visit 1 and visit 2 (p=0.013); Wilcoxon signed-rank test) only in type 1 diabetic women who developed preeclampsia (DM+PE+). There were no differences in the secreted FKBPL plasma levels in type 1 diabetic women without preeclampsia (DM+PE-) and non-diabetic (DM-) control.

 

   

 

Figure 2. FKBPL protein levels are downregulated following 24 h exposure to hypoxia (1%) in both trophoblast and umbilical cord endothelial cells. Human trophoblast cells (HTR8.SV.neo) and human umbilical cord endothelial cells (HUVEC) were seeded, allowed to attach overnight and incubated for 24 h at 37°C and normoxia (95% O2) or hypoxia (1% O2) before protein lysates were collected (n≥3). **p<0.01 (unpaired Student t-test).

 

 

PARTNERING OPPORTUNITY

  • Clinical Validation Study
  • Co-development as companion dx

 

 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Alex Chacko
The Queen's University of Belfast
02890 973370
a.chacko@qub.ac.uk
Keywords:
Case ID
1516-093
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