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Pulmonary Biomarker Surfactant Protein-B Is Used for Diagnosis

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Dec 2008
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Roche Diagnostics (Rotkreuz, Switzerland) and an Australian Biotech company, Southern Medical Diagnostics (SMD; Walkerville, Australia) signed licensing agreements on diagnostic applications of Surfactant Protein-B.

According to the agreements, Roche will have semi-exclusive worldwide rights for diagnostic applications of Surfactant Protein-B (SP-B) in lung disorders; SMD will have worldwide rights to key test-components developed by Roche, which SMD may exclusively use for SP-B applications.

A lung-specific protein and a key functional component of the alveolus, SP-B is present at very low concentrations in the serum of healthy people. It is released into the blood stream as a result of lung injury and is significantly increased in primary and secondary lung disorders affecting mainly the lung parenchyma. This includes the alveolocapillary system, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and heart failure. Changes of lung disorders can be monitored by measuring levels of SP-B in the blood.

Together with B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP or NT-proBNP) tests, SP-B helps to discriminate between cardiac and non-cardiac causes of dyspnea.

"Roche Diagnostics believes that tests for Surfactant Protein-B will be very valuable in the diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and monitoring of patients with primary and secondary pulmonary disorders," said Dirk Ehlers, head of Roche Professional Diagnostics." He added, "The SP-B assay will allow earlier recognition of cardio-pulmonary conditions and thereby prepare the basis for improved treatment in the future."

Roche is one of the world's leading healthcare groups in the fields of diagnostics and pharmaceutics. The company is a world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology.

Southern Medical Diagnostics Pty Ltd. is a private Australian company specializing in the development and out-licensing of novel diagnostic technologies.

Related Links:
Roche Diagnostics
Southern Medical Diagnostics

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