VolitionRx (NYSEMKT:VNRX) Limited said it has been working with researchers at two leading NHS Foundation Trusts on studies in coronavirus (COVID-19) for which abstracts were released this week at the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) Congress, in Philadelphia.
The Austin, Texas-based epigenetics company’s easy-to-use blood-based Nu.Q test has been found to be an effective method for monitoring Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) in sepsis. Significantly, NETs also play a role in COVID-19, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
In a statement, Volition Chief Scientific Officer Dr Jake Micallef said: "We believe our Nu.Q NETs assay will have wide applicability for monitoring diseases with a NETs component such as COVID-19, sepsis, autoimmune diseases and cancer and potentially to risk stratify patients for treatment selection.”
“We have further large studies in progress in COVID-19, sepsis and other diseases as well as studies in potential use as a companion diagnostic in sepsis. I look forward to the completion of ongoing studies and the publication of further data in the coming months," he added.
Volition earlier reported preliminary results demonstrating that its Nu.Q NETs assay correlated well with COVID-19 disease severity. The firm now reports “early-stage data” with the same assay showing that results on admission could “predict future COVID-19 disease severity and that serial results correlate with disease progression.
While commenting on the poster presentation titled Circulating Nucleosomes Immunoassay: Evaluating a Clinically Applicable Test to Risk Stratify COVID-19 and Target Anticoagulation, lead author and hematologist Dr Catherine Rea said: "The Nu.Q NETs biomarker results taken on hospital admission in this study corelated with COVID-19 disease severity and were predictive of whether patients required care in a general ward or organ support in an intensive care ward.”
“The study results also indicated that elevated values of Nu.Q H3.1 could predict poor outcomes in patients admitted to Intensive Care, including an association with 28-day mortality, and may be of value in risk stratifying patients for treatments such as therapeutic anticoagulation, as well as in monitoring patient response to treatment."
Similarly, while commenting on the poster titled Identifying Tools to Track Hypercoagulability in COVID-19 Patients, lead author and scientist Dr Sophia Stanford said: "While this is a small exploratory study, the Nu.Q NETs H3.1 biomarker values closely tracked the clinical course of COVID-19 patients admitted directly to Intensive Care, admitted to a general ward or admitted to a general ward and then transferred to Intensive Care during their hospital stay.”
“These findings suggest the Nu.Q H3.1 assay may be able to risk stratify COVID-19 patients on admission and monitor disease progression in individual patients."
Volition’s tests are based on the science of Nucleosomics, which is the practice of identifying and measuring nucleosomes in the bloodstream or other bodily fluid - an indication that disease is present.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at email@example.com
Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive