Carmenta Bioscience, Inc., a privately held medical technology company focused on maternal and fetal health, today announced it has acquired the option for a worldwide, exclusive license from Stanford University to develop a set of tests enabling physicians to better diagnose and predict preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a leading cause of preterm birth and maternal/fetal death, arising in 5-8% of pregnant mothers and characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine after week 20 of pregnancy.
The technology was discovered by Carmenta's co-founders, Dr. Atul Butte and Dr. Bruce Ling of Stanford University. Their research uncovered a novel combination of clinically relevant, proprietary protein biomarkers in serum capable of identifying pregnant mothers with preeclampsia. An initial trial involving samples from 64 mothers verified the clinical accuracy of the biomarkers. The research was funded by the March of Dimes and the SPARK program at Stanford School of Medicine.
"Preeclampsia is difficult for physicians to accurately identify due to its complex pathophysiology. This multifaceted condition is best diagnosed using a modern, systems-biology based approach," said Dr. Matthew Cooper, Carmenta's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Building on the technology from Stanford, Carmenta is developing tests to meet the needs of the Maternal Fetal Medicine and OB-GYN community to diagnose preeclampsia in both symptomatic and asymptomatic mothers."
"For years, MFMs and OB-GYNs have called for more objective, molecular diagnostic tests for preeclampsia. Carmenta is answering that call by developing tests capable of both confirming clinical diagnosis and predicting preeclampsia. Identifying pregnant mothers at highest risk for preeclampsia will allow physicians to better monitor and intervene, resulting in improved clinical outcomes and economic benefit to the healthcare system," continued Dr. Cooper.