This advance marks the first time a company has been able to identify biomarkers that boast the potential to isolate and stratify this group of children who suffer from an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Q BioMed’s study took into consideration 1,953 potential biomarkers and used Vineland II scores to sort 240 autistic children into three groups: verbal, semi-verbal and non-verbal.
“This is a major breakthrough,” said Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin. “In partnership with the clinical and advocacy community, Q BioMed is leading the effort to better stratify this group, while also pursuing a treatment.”
A highlight of the biomarker study was the identification of known genes and pathways that are implicated in speech impairment. The results also revealed conditions that surface as early as 18 months although the children don’t yet show symptoms of these diseases.
Children who suffer from nonverbal autism either never develop the ability to speak or kick off language progression between nine to 14 months and then regress. Most psychologists and physicians feel comfortable providing a diagnosis of nonverbal autism at the age of seven. And as many as 18,000 to 20,000 newborns will go on to become autistic and nonverbal in the US.
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Looking ahead, QBioMed intends to use the data gleaned from these biomarkers and work with its advisory committee, regulators and partners to include these biomarkers in the trial design for its pediatric autism drug candidate QBM-001.
QBM-001 aims to treat toddlers with pediatric nonverbal autism who suffer from nonverbal or minimally verbal capabilities.
Headquartered in New York, Q BioMed is a biotech company focused on licensing and acquiring undervalued biomedical assets in the healthcare sector.
Contact Ellen Kelleher at email@example.com