Industrial collaboration on suPAR
Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre and the Danish biotech company ViroGates has entered into an agreement on the routine use of biomarker suPAR in emergency room triaging and further development on applications.
ViroGates is an international medtech company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. ViroGates develops and distributes prognostic suPAR products for healthcare management with the aim of identifying risk patients early and improve the lives of seriously infected people globally.
SuPAR is a protein present in blood, and it is measurable in all individuals. In short the more suPAR in the blood, the higher the risk of a negative outcome. Thus, a patient with a high suPAR level is more likely to be severely ill than a patient with a low suPAR level.
The research background
More than 200 papers have been published on the prognostic ability of the suPAR biomarker. Biochemist and PhD, Jesper Eugen-Olsen at Clinical Research Centre at Hvidovre Hospital and colleagues published in 2000 that suPAR was a strong biomarker for the prognosis of HAART naïve HIV patients (Sidenius et al, Blood 2000).
During the following years, it became clear that suPAR was not only prognostic for HIV patients, but was generally prognostic for patients with infectious diseases.
In 2010, Jesper Eugen-Olsen, Ove Andersen, Steen B. Haugaard, and colleagues published that suPAR was a general marker of inflammation and also linked to the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes in the general Danish population (Eugen-Olsen, Andersen et al, JIM 2010).
In the emergency setting, Thomas Haupt and colleagues found that patients with high suPAR may suffer from more than one disease, and careful clinical investigation should be carried out in these patients (Haupt et al, Crit Care 2012).
The fact that a CE/IVD approved assay on suPAR is commercially available today is attributable to patents generated by the Danish researchers. These have been licensed to ViroGates who have brought suPAR measurable kits to the marked.
The kits have been used by independent research groups in more than 100 publications published on Medline, independently verifying the prognostic relevance of suPAR measurements.
Measurement of suPAR is carried out using ViroGates automated suPARnostic® ELISA test. The collaboration between ViroGates and Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Hvidovre Hospital also involves developing techniques to measure the protein using other platforms. The suPAR results will enter as a part of a new triage package, which will aid physicians to choose the optimal diagnostic and treatment strategies.
SuPAR in clinical practice
In clinical practice suPAR’s main application is screening of individuals to determine the risk of the individual patient. In acute care medicine suPAR is mainly used to facilitate clinical decisions of whether to admit patients to clinical wards or to discharge the patients, thus improving both clinical decision making and hospital economics. In critical care, suPAR is primarily used for monitoring of treatment efficacy and success.
SuPAR’s prognostic value has been exemplified in various infectious conditions via clinical studies, these include sepsis, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV but also in inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes. SuPAR is also applied to assess the risk for healthy individuals of developing these life style diseases.