Imperial has filed patents for new biomarkers for the detection of tuberculosis (TB). The technology exploits changes in gene expression caused by TB to diagnose the disease. These biomarkers have been identified and validated in clinical settings.
Diagnosing childhood TB is a complex challenge and this technology addresses several of its component obstacles:
- Detection: childhood TB is hard to detect microbiologically
- Specificity: TB shares symptoms with various other diseases and is therefore hard to tell apart
- Co-morbidity: HIV infection or malnourishment reduces the reliability of conventional TB tests
- Latent vs Active: many tests cannot distinguish between active and passive disease states
Imperial is looking for co-development/licensing partners with views to develop a diagnosis platform for TB.