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Evogen Awarded National Institutes of Health SBIR Grant to Advance Its Novel Biomarker-Based Epilepsy Diagnostic
SPRING HOUSE, Pa., April 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Evogen, Inc., a leader in proteomic and genomic-based testing for improved diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and other neurological disorders, today announced receipt of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Under the terms of the grant, Evogen's wholly-owned subsidiary, Cognizance Biomarkers, LLC, will collaborate with the Human Epilepsy Project (HEP) to expand the utility of its novel blood-based epilepsy diagnostic by better understanding the influence of time-from-seizure on results. Clinical studies have confirmed the ability of the Evogen/Cognizance EvoScoreDXTM biomarker test to accurately distinguish actual seizures from seizure-like events within 24 hours of the suspected seizure.
Epilepsy is currently diagnosed using electroencephalograms (EEGs) and comprehensive patient assessments. The process can be subjective, cumbersome, expensive and inconclusive. Video EEGs are more informative than standard EEGs but may require costly hospitalization. The Evogen/Cognizance approach leverages recent research showing that inflammation is both a cause and consequence of epileptic seizures, using a simple-to-administer blood test that diagnoses seizures by assessing selected immune response-associated biomarkers.
Todd Wallach, President and Chief Executive Officer of Evogen, commented, "We aim to transform the diagnosis of epilepsy with our accurate and easy-to-administer biomarker blood test. Clinical studies confirm that EvoScoreDX can diagnose epilepsy more rapidly and accurately than current methods. We welcome the opportunity afforded by this grant to collaborate with HEP researchers and clinicians to further understand how time-from-seizure affects the test results."
The Human Epilepsy Project is an international team of over 300 doctors, researchers, healthcare workers and patients working together to study epilepsy biomarkers, with the goal of speeding accurate diagnosis and optimized treatment.
Dr. Manu Hegde, HEP Biomarker Team Leader, noted, "At HEP we are committed to the development of biomarker-based methods enabling us to better understand how epilepsy patients respond to treatment and become seizure-free. We are therefore excited about our new collaboration with Evogen and are delighted that this project has received funding support from the NIH."
The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities. The funding for this SBIR Phase l research award is supported by the NIH under Award #1R43NS110275. The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder affecting approximately 65 million people worldwide and more than 2 million people in the U.S., where it is the fourth most common neurological disorder. Although epilepsy may be linked to factors such as health conditions, race and age, it can develop in anyone at any age. There are many different types of epilepsy, but the main characteristic of the condition is recurrent seizures. The accurate diagnosis of epilepsy remains a challenge, as current methods are subjective, cumbersome, expensive and imprecise.
Evogen, Inc. is a leading developer of diagnostic, detection and sample collection solutions with successful products deployed worldwide. Cognizance Biomarkers LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Evogen, is a clinical stage neurology and neuroinflammation-focused diagnostics company focused on achieving leadership in proteomic and genomic-based testing for improved diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, offering rapid, accurate and cost-effective precision medicine solutions for optimal patient outcomes. Its patented EvoScoreDXTM biomarker-based blood test has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of epilepsy. In clinical studies, EvoScoreDX demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 90% or more. The company is also developing EvoScoreGXTM comprehensive genomic testing for improved management of neurological disorders. For more information, visit evogen.com.
Richard St. Clair
SOURCE Evogen, Inc.