One in nine Australian women will suffer from endometriosis, a debilitating, chronic menstrual health disorder resulting in serious pain, fertility issues and reduced quality of life. The disease occurs when tissue similar to that within the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus in other areas of the body, commonly around the reproductive system and other pelvic organs.
The only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis is through invasive surgery. The lack of diagnostic tools means diagnosis often takes between 7 to 12 years.
Proteomics International Laboratories (ASX: PIQ) knows that with so many women and girls suffering, delayed diagnosis simply isn’t good enough. Specialising in proteomics- the study of the structure and function of proteins, the Company has today announced a new partnership with the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women’s Hospital to develop a simple blood test to detect endometriosis. The test would be a world first and a significant step forward towards improving the lives of sufferers worldwide.
The collaboration will look into biomarkers within the blood, described as ‘fingerprints’, specific to endometriosis.
The Royal Women’s Hospital has an endometriosis database containing biological samples from more than 900 women which will be used to validate the panel of biomarkers uncovered by Proteomics.
Professor Peter Rogers, The Women’s Director of Research and leading endometriosis researcher Sarah Holdsworth-Carson said: “Endometriosis symptoms often start when women are teenagers, but because it’s so hard to diagnose, girls can struggle with unexplained pain throughout their lives. We’re hoping to prevent this with a simple, accessible blood test that can be ordered by a family GP.”
The research collaboration will expand upon the University of Melbourne’s recent $3.9 million Medical Research Future Fund’s Emerging Priorities grant for endometriosis. In recent years, the Australian Government has committed more than $9 million towards research into endometriosis diagnostic avenues.
International Managing Director of Proteomics, Dr Richard Lipscombe said: “Endometriosis is an area of great unmet medical need. We are excited to pair our Promarker™ technology platform- which has already been used to develop the world’s first predictive diagnostic test for diabetic kidney disease with the University of Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital’s exceptional clinical database and expertise in this field. It is exciting to think that we could develop a world first blood test for diagnosing endometriosis.”
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