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New test for osteo arthritis developed at University of Warwick

Osteo arthritis testResearchers at the University of Warwick have designed a new diagnostic technique that will help detect the early stages of a range of skeletal disorders, including rheumatoid or osteo arthritis. They are currently looking for partners who can help develop a clinical test using the technology.

Osteo arthritis, which causes pain and stiffness in the tissues and bones around joints, is a progressive condition which affects around 1 million people in the UK each year. There is no direct diagnostic tool for it: doctors currently use several different methods to diagnose the disease, including physical examinations, x-rays, blood tests and medical histories.

The technique being developed by Warwick researchers measures a particular type of protein which is known to be implicated in skeletal diseases such as osteo arthritis and which can be detected early in the disease’s development.

A diagnostic test using this technique could mean doctors and patients are better able to manage and monitor the disease’s progression and ensure treatment paths are tailored to the patients’ particular needs.

Other diseases that the technology could be used to test for include osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory disorders that can lead to skeletal health problems.

The invention is currently available for licence via Warwick Ventures Ltd, the University of Warwick’s commercialisation arm.

Dr Suzanna Wood, Business Development Manager at Warwick Ventures, explains: “This test is currently at a very early stage of development, but ultimately it will not only enable doctors to detect skeletal health problems early but will also, over time, allow more effective treatments to be developed, as clinicians will be able to use follow-up tests to monitor the impact of therapies and lifestyle modifications.

“We are currently interested in finding partners to work with the University to develop this technology further.”

More information about the technology is available from Dr Suzanna Wood, Warwick Ventures Ltd. Tel: 024 7657 5490; email: s.k.wood@warwick.ac.uk