Neurologic disorders diagnostics company Evogen, and biopharmaceutical company UCB announced today a collaboration to further develop and refine EvoScore START, Evogen’s new proteomic blood test that has been designed to more accurately distinguish epileptic seizures from other similar medical events.
It is estimated that only 15% of suspected seizure-like events are actual epileptic seizures, yet there are no easily available tools that can definitively distinguish a seizure from another event. According to Evogen, the new diagnostic takes a novel approach to the diagnosis of epileptic seizures via the analysis of key protein biomarkers present in a patient’s blood.
Current methods of properly diagnosing epilepsy seizures are both cumbersome and expensive, and often not particularly accurate. These roadblocks often delay the proper diagnosis of epilepsy and can cause burdens to health systems and patients alike.
“Evogen aims to be the leader in neurology proteomic and genomic testing, and we believe that EvoScore START has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis of epilepsy,” said Todd Wallach, president and CEO of Evogen. “We have always admired UCB's long-standing commitment to the epilepsy field and look forward to UCB's expert help in further refining this important new diagnostic tool for epilepsy patients and their healthcare providers.”
By teaming with UCB, Evogen will be tapping the expertise of a company with deep roots in research and development of anti-epileptic drugs. The company currently markets three separate drugs for epilepsy—Briviact (brivaracetam), Vimpat (lacosamide), and Keppra—all primarily as adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial onset seizures.
“UCB is excited about the potential of better diagnostic tests to improve individual experiences for people with epilepsy,” noted Jeff Wren, head of UCB's Neurology Patient Value Unit. “We believe the availability of more accurate and accessible diagnostics, like EvoScore START, may improve time to care for epilepsy patients and could deliver additional value across the broader healthcare system.”
According to Evogen, EvoScore START will be available in target markets in 2017. The company’s EvoScore Genomics comprehensive genomic testing for improved management of epilepsy and other neurological disorders will be launched to neurologists in mid-2017.