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Novel Multivariate Blood Test Improves Multiple Sclerosis Disease Management

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Sep 2023
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Image: The Octave MSDA Test is a multi-protein serum-based biomarker assay to measure disease activity of MS patients (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)
Image: The Octave MSDA Test is a multi-protein serum-based biomarker assay to measure disease activity of MS patients (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex ailment with considerable diversity, impacting each patient uniquely, which complicates diagnosis and prognosis. Effectively managing disease activity, which involves new neurological symptoms and relapse rates, is central to improving outcomes. Historically, there have been no dynamic, quantifiable methods to track disease activity over time. This creates challenges in MS management and could lead to less-than-optimal utilization of disease-modifying therapies, which are essential for reducing disease activity, minimizing relapses, and slowing disease progression. Now, a new blood test has demonstrated potential for offering quantitative insights to enhance the care of MS patients and deliver a superior performance compared to the top-performing single-protein model.

Octave Bioscience (Menlo Park, CA, USA) has developed the Octave MSDA Test, which is the first and only multi-protein serum-based biomarker assay devised to quantitatively measure the disease activity of MS patients. This test can be used throughout a patient's disease journey, enabling more informed clinical decisions for improved disease management. The Octave MSDA Test is part of the comprehensive Octave Precision Care Solution, which combines data from the test along with expanded imaging capabilities and clinical insights, providing a more comprehensive view of the patient. This solution equips the entire MS care ecosystem with the means to better gauge, monitor, and manage the disease.

Octave has completed evaluating over 1,400 protein biomarkers using more than 3,000 patient samples. Advanced data science, machine learning, and feature extraction techniques were harnessed to select the top-performing and most pertinent 18 biomarkers for incorporation into a customized assay panel, developed using the Olink proteomics platform. These biomarkers were then integrated into an algorithm, generating four pathway scores that represent distinct disease processes in MS pathophysiology – immunomodulation, neuroinflammation, myelin biology, and neuroaxonal integrity. Additionally, the algorithm produces an overall disease activity score on a scale of 1.0 to 10.0.

The Octave MSDA Test boasts numerous clinical applications throughout the care continuum. It aids in routine surveillance to better monitor disease activity, especially in patients with stable disease, and to track emerging or worsening symptoms. Furthermore, it can be used as an objective assessment of treatment response and tracks a patient’s disease activity level once a decision has been made with their clinician to scale back or discontinue their disease-modifying treatment. The Octave MSDA Test promotes shared decision-making between patients and their physicians while complementing standard radiographic imaging and clinical evaluation to offer more objective insights for enhanced MS care. This test has been successfully clinically validated relative to radiographic and clinical markers of disease activity and has outperformed the top-performing single-protein model. Presently, the Octave MSDA Test is available for commercial use and is being routinely utilized in leading practices across the United States, as well as in pharmaceutical studies.

“We are encouraged that these results validate the performance of the Octave MSDA Test and demonstrate its ability to quantitatively and objectively measure disease activity of patients with MS,” said Ferhan Qureshi, Vice President of Biomarker Product Development at Octave. “The test interrogates multiple biological pathways important in MS pathophysiology with a diverse set of biomarkers to provide a highly sensitive, dynamic perspective of disease at the subclinical level. This provides an important complement to clinical evaluation of signs and symptoms of disease and MRI findings.”

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