ROCHESTER HILLS (WWJ) — Oxford Biomedical Research Inc., a privately held biotechnology company in Rochester Hills, has been awarded a $1,163,600 Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research Grant by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The grant will khelp Oxford develop of a panel of tests designed to use a family of proteins, called GSTs, as more sensitive and specific biomarkers to detect toxicity and differentiate potential toxic effects to multiple organs.
GST proteins are found in many tissues and organs. They play an important role in the elimination of pharmaceutical drugs and environmental compounds that humans are exposed to. It is also well known that, when cells are exposed to toxic compounds, they release small proteins such as GSTs, giving rise to increased levels in blood and urine.
Although some other proteins are used as biomarkers of liver or kidney toxicity in the clinic, GSTs are extremely sensitive biomarkers for toxicity. Moreover, since there are more than 20 GST proteins made by different cell types and tissues, by simultaneously measuring multiple GSTs, it will be possible to rapidly determine which organs are most sensitive to toxicity by a new drug candidate.
With the help of Bengt Mannervik, a Swedish biochemistry professor and expert in the field of GST biology, researchers at Oxford Biomedical, led by Kevin Patrie, have already assembled tests for a number of GST proteins. The NIH-funded research includes development of a device that can rapidly and inexpensively measure multiple GSTs. This device is based on the same fundamental principles as a yes-no home pregnancy test, but will quantitatively measure multiple GSTs simultaneously.
More at http://www.oxfordbiomed.com.