Ascendant Diagnostics in Good Company With Leading Edge Research

Proteomics research utilizes tears to diagnose and manage serious diseases.

Ascendant Diagnostics is making progress in developing its first product, MelodyDx™. The goal of our tear-based diagnostic screening method is early stage breast cancer detection utilizing the proteomic profile present in human tears.

Tears provide insight into molecular events occurring within the body. Collection of tears is easy, non-invasive and definitely low risk for patients.

The term proteome applies to all the proteins produced by a living thing. Proteomics refers to the comprehensive study of the structure and function of proteins.

Proteomic technologies are playing an increasingly important role in medical diagnostics, drug discovery and molecular medicine. According to the American Medical Association, current research is looking at protein families linked to diseases including cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

It turns out that Ascendant is in good company studying the proteins found in tears to help detect or manage a serious disease.

According to a recent blog posting, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/01/introducing-our-smart-contact-lens.html, Google’s secretive Google X lab is testing a smart contact lens. The lenses are designed to take a reading of the glucose level of a diabetic patient’s tears every second and wirelessly transmit the results to an external device.

The lens uses a tiny wireless transmitter and a miniature glucose sensor embedded between two layers of a soft contact. Tears leak into tiny openings in the lens, which enables a reading of the user’s glucose levels. Using tears for glucose testing is more convenient and less painful than traditional finger prick blood tests.

The hope is that the lens will help diabetics regulate their glucose levels more effectively and better manage their disease. Google reports that it will take at least five years to bring the smart lenses to market.

Omid Moghadam, chief executive officer, Ascendant Diagnostics, reports on the status of Ascendant’s proteomic tear research: “We’re in the process of selecting an automated sample processing instrument and proteomic software in preparation for upcoming clinical validation trials for MelodyDx,” he says. “Our clinical trials are slated to begin in the second half of 2014 and we anticipate bringing MelodyDx to market in 2015.

MelodyDx is being developed to substantially increase the accuracy of cancer diagnostics, enable detection of disease at the earliest possible stage and improve patient compliance.