Psychiatric disorders detected using blood test

ChondroGene Limited reported today that a paper entitled "Assessing the Validity of Blood- Based Gene Expression Profiles for the Classification of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: A preliminary Report" is available online on the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics' website.

The study examined the blood gene expression of 74 patients - 30 with schizophrenia, 16 with bipolar disorder and 28 controls. Eight gene blood biomarkers were identified and used to discriminate amongst the 3 groups, with an overall accuracy of 95% to 97%.

The paper was co-authored by Dr. Ming T. Tsuang, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, and Director, Institute of Behavioral Genomics, Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and Director, Harvard Institute of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Genetics, Harvard Department of Epidemiology and Psychiatry, Harvard University and Dr. C.C. Liew, ChondroGene's Chief Scientist, Visiting Professor and Founder of The Cardiovascular Genome Unit at The Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Professor Emeritus at The University of Toronto, and was responsible for conceiving the Sentinel Principle. The data presented in the paper is a result of an initial collaborative research project between ChondroGene and Dr. Tsuang in which the Sentinel Principle was applied to these two psychiatric disorders. Additional studies to further validate disease-specific biomarkers in larger psychiatric populations are ongoing.

"At present there are no tests that can effectively diagnose psychiatric disorders early in their evolution. Using current methods, it can take months or even years to make a definitive diagnosis", stated Dr. K. Wayne Marshall, President and CEO of ChondroGene Limited. "Application of ChondroGene's Sentinel Principle to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder has generated unique blood-based molecular signatures for each disease. These molecular signatures can be used to develop disease-specific biomarkers that will enable earlier diagnosis and more timely treatment of these devastating disorders."

Rory Riggs, ChondroGene's Chairman and Managing Director of Balfour LLC, stated that "the Sentinel Principle is an extremely powerful tool that can provide a snapshot of what is happening throughout the body from a simple blood sample. So far ChondroGene has applied the Sentinel Principle to over 50 different diseases with very promising results."

The Sentinel Principle is used to identify unique molecular signatures in blood associated with a specific disease. These molecular signatures are then used to identify blood-based biomarkers that can be used for disease- specific diagnostic tests. ChondroGene is applying the Sentinel Principle in four main disease areas; cancer, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease and arthritis. The Company currently works with research collaborators and organizations around the world in these various disease areas.

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