AYOXXA raises its sights with a new agreement to develop ophthalmic diagnostic tools


New agreement was signed between AYOXXA, an international biotech company with headquarters in Cologne, and the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), one of the leading international eye research institutes. AYOXXA and SERI will work together on validating the company’s multiplexing technology platform for protein biomarker detection, as part of an expanded collaboration for developing ophthalmic diagnostic tools.

SERI has had a long and broad history of working with large and mid-size pharmaceutical and ophthalmic companies, and the partnership with AYOXXA can potentially enable the co-development of a range of ophthalmic diagnostic tools, beginning with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Michael Rasche, Corporate Vice President Global Commercial Operations of AYOXXA Biosystems, said: “We are pleased to start this collaboration with such a prestigious research institute like SERI. By gaining access to very low-volume samples from the eye we can prove the benefits of our new protein multiplex technology beyond the research segment in clinical settings. We want to closely work with SERI in the ophthalmology space and potentially use our technology as new diagnostic application in the treatment of AMD.

Angiogenic retinal diseases including AMD are the leading causes of blindness in elderly patients worldwide. Cytokines and growth factors are known to play a significant role in the pathogenesis. Sensitive and reliable biomarker assays allow diagnosis and therapy monitoring. Samples need to be taken directly from the vitreous and aqueous compartments of patients’ eyes. However, the demand for relatively large sample volumes to use the current biomarker evaluation may be difficult to obtain in some patients without having to undergo a vitrectomy during surgery. Additionally, established tests are also time-consuming and expensive.

As part of this pilot study, cytokine and growth factor concentrations in vitreous and aqueous patient samples will be determined using the AYOXXA human cytokine bioassays and compared with standard methods. Furthermore, the AYOXXA protein multiplexing technology will be challenged for reliability using very small sample quantities.

AYOXXA, founded in 2010, has quickly raised €15M in the last four years, and it seems to have partnered with a great institute. Looking into SERI’s website, I found out they recently published two Nature papers. The new technology they are about to develop might offer a fast, sensitive, reliable and economic testing system for AMD and other ophthalmic diseases, as well as to enable therapy monitoring for the benefit of both, patients and clinicians. For sure, we will keep an eye on their progress!

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