Rheumatoid Arthritis Test a Marker of Success

A new test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is now available based on discoveries made by researchers at UBC, Vancouver General Hospital and the University of Alberta.

In October 2012, spin-off company Augurex Life Sciences Corp. announced an exclusive license agreement with Quest Diagnostics, for the development of a clinical laboratory testing service for the U.S. market, based on Augurex's RA 14-3-3η biomarker. In April 2013, Quest announced the availability of the test, which was released in late February 2014.

Early diagnosis and treatment of RA is associated with more favourable outcomes. 14-3-3η assists with RA diagnosis because it is a protein that is involved in early joint damage processes and is elevated in the blood of patients with RA while it is relatively absent in healthy people and those with other types of auto-immune conditions.

The technology was developed by Drs. Aziz Ghahary and Ruhangiz Kilani of Vancouver General Hospital and the UBC Department of Surgery / Division of Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Walter Maksymowych at the University of Alberta. Research was supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The UILO licensed the technology that formed the basis of UBC spin-off company Augurex in 2007.