Boston Children's Hospital, Abwiz partner to improve the diagnosis of Kawasaki disease

BOSTON, Oct. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Boston Children's Hospital and Abwiz Bio have signed a partnership agreement to develop a prototype test kit to diagnose Kawasaki Disease (KD).

"We are pleased to partner with Boston Children's Hospital, which will utilize our state-of-the-art antibody technologies "WizAmpTM and Needle-in-a-Haystack selection" for the development of assays to detect key biomarkers of KD and are thrilled that these assays may contribute to the accurate and early diagnosis of children," says Toshi Maruyama, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer of Abwiz Bio, Inc.

Kawasaki Disease is a largely pediatric disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels. If left untreated, it leads to coronary artery aneurysms in approximately 25 percent of affected children.

Although Kawasaki Disease is rare, it is the most common cause of acquired heart disease of children in the developed world. Children often present with prolonged fever and rash, symptoms that mimic common childhood conditions, and this makes it difficult for physicians to diagnose Kawasaki Disease. There is currently no definitive diagnostic test for the disease.

Susan, Kim, MD, of Boston Children's Hospital's department of rheumatology, along with Hanno Steen, PhD, Director of the Proteomics Center, and Alex Kentsis, MD, formerly of Boston Children's, in a study reported in EMBO Mol Med, identified several novel protein markers in the urine of children with Kawasaki Disease.  

Boston Children's Technology Innovation & Development Office (TIDO) Technology Development Fund awarded Dr. Kim a grant in 2011 to evaluate the specificity and predictive utility of two of these markers. "Kawasaki Disease is a serious pediatric medical condition with detrimental side effects when left untreated. We are very excited to pursue the development of these promising biomarkers that will hopefully impact treatment of Kawasaki Disease patients in the future," says Monique Yoakim-Turk, PhD, Partner, Technology Development Fund.

The goal of the partnership between Boston Children's and Abwiz is to pair Boston Children's clinical resources, scientific expertise and Technology Development Fund program with Abwiz Bio's antibody technology platform to develop a rapid, accurate point-of-care test for Kawasaki Disease.

"If we can identify children with Kawasaki Disease using a diagnostic test, we would be able to diagnose it more accurately, and in a timelier manner. This, in turn, would decrease long-term morbidity and cost in children evaluated for fever and Kawasaki Disease," says Dr. Kim.

TIDO facilitates the transfer of intellectual property, research tools, know-how and other technologies from Boston Children's Hospital to industry. It established the Technology Development Fund in 2009 to support promising early-stage technologies developed at Boston Children's with capital investment, expert external advisors and a network of preferred contract research organizations.

Contact:
Erin Tornatore
Boston Children's Hospital
617-919-3110
erin.tornatore@childrens.harvard.edu

Brad Kraft
Abwiz Bio, Inc
858-900-7028
bkraft@abwizbio.com

About Boston Children's Hospital
Boston Children's Hospital is the world's largest research enterprise at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences, 13 members of the Institute of Medicine and 14 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children's research community. Boston Children's is a 395-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex, diverse needs of children and families. Boston Children's is also the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Boston Children's, visit: http://vectorblog.org.

About Abwiz Bio
Abwiz Bio, Inc. was founded in 2012 to leverage the power of state-of-the-art recombinant antibody technologies to develop better antibody-based research tools, diagnostics and therapeutics. The executive team at Abwiz Bio has extensive experience from discovery through commercialization. Abwiz Bio works closely with academic scientists to facilitate translational development. Abwiz Bio is actively exploring academic partnerships to develop diagnostic tests for rare diseases for which therapy is available.

SOURCE Boston Children's Hospital



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