Hummingbird and Saarland university confirm microRNA biomarker study

Hummingbird Diagnostics and Saarland University have announced a partnership to investigate blood-based microRNAs (miRNA)s as biomarkers in the early detection of pulmonary and neurodegenerative diseases.

The research will analyse 5,000 patient samples of lung disease including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer, and neurodegenerative disease specifically Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

The German parties have collaborated before on the bio-marker potential of blood-based microRNAs, most notably in 2015 when a study at the university revealed a blood-based miRNA signature able to identify lung cancer patients among those with COPD and (controlled) healthy individuals. The results of the study could potentially lead to early lung cancer diagnoses.

The framework agreement will streamline any resultant project procedures between the two parties and the same regulation will apply to the use of any results, publication, software and intellectual property rights.

The partnership, which began in 2009, continues the relationship between Hummingbird Diagnostics and Saarland Professors Andreas Kellet and Eckhart Messe. In a statement, Professor Kellet commented on the important role that the liquid-based biopsy micro-RNA diagnostic company play in the collaboration. “We have come to know Hummingbird as an innovative, reliable partner with unique expertise in miRNA biomarkers from body fluids,” he said. “Through co-operation, our research results can be validated and transferred to the clinic.”

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