ZURICH, Switzerland and JERUSALEM, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Prionics AG,
the world leader in prion diagnostics, and PrioSense, a newly founded spin-off
company of Hadasit at the Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem,
have started the joint development of a live test for prion diseases. The
test is based on the recent discovery of disease associated prion protein in
the urine of both animals infected with BSE and humans infected with
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).
"Current diagnostic screening tests can only be used for post mortem
diagnosis of the disease as they require brain tissue for analysis," explains
Dr. Ruth Gabizon who is directing the research at PrioSense. "The new urine
based test provides reliable early indicators of the prion disease." It will
for the first time facilitate screening of live animals and humans for prion
The joint research project of Prionics and the Israeli scientists is based
on a previous co-operation in an EU project. In this project the research unit
at Hadassah University led by Ruth Gabizon had succeeded in demonstrating for
the first time the existence of disease associated prion protein in urine of
humans and cattle.
"We are very excited about the new range of applications for prion
testing, particularly in the field of human medicine", says Dr. Bruno Oesch,
CEO and Head of Research at Prionics. "For years we thought that live tests
might not be possible based on the direct detection of prion proteins in body
fluids, but might require testing of less reliable third markers. The prion
protein correlates 100% with disease and therefore facilitates the highest
accuracy in diagnosis of BSE and CJD."
"We are delighted to formally partner with Prionics," said Dr. Raphael
Hofstein, managing Director of Hadasit and Director at PrioSense. "It is an
honour to work with a company that is internationally recognised for its
competence in prion diagnostics as well as for its technological and marketing
:: About Prionics
The Swiss company Prionics AG is the global leader in the early diagnosis
of prion diseases. The company is renowned for revealing the extent of the mad
cow disease spread in Europe with their BSE tests. The company has evolved
into the worlds leading centre of competence for prion diagnostics. Research
and Development projects in the fields of neurology and prion diseases are the
business fields in which Prionics is active. Prionics' research team is part
of a network of prion specialists and leading neuroscientists from all over
:: About PrioSense
The seminal work of Dr. Ruth Gabizon at Hadassah University has led to the
foundation of the spin-off company PrioSense. In 2001, the investment company
Wolfson-Clore-Mayer provided Hadasit Ltd. (see below) with the initial
investment to establish the company, with the express purpose of pursuing the
research, development and marketing of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic
products for the control and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
:: About Hadasit Ltd.
Hadasit Medical Research Services and Development Ltd. promotes and
markets the intellectual property generated by the Hadassah Medical
Organisation (HMO), a leading medical and research institution in Israel.
Hadasit utilises the expertise, technologies and patents produced by Hadassah
research teams in the fields of medical biotechnology, medical devices and
medical diagnostics for commercial purposes. Hadasit has already established
more than a dozen start-up companies, obtained patents on over 200 new
concepts and is actively involved in preparing numerous research projects for
presentation to the marketplace.
SOURCE Prionics AG