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Despite being the most prevalent genetic disease worldwide, sickle cell disease patients represent a highly underserved community. Until recently, very few therapies have been available to manage sickle cell disease, although recent medical advances have seen many new therapies enter clinical trials. 

 

At INNOVHEM, we strive to improve the quality of life of these patients by revolutionizing the basic standard of patient care, while also working to accelerate the development of new therapies and cures for this disease!

Our innovation

Organizing Test Tubes

The approach of

INNOVHEM is

two-fold:

  • Personalised medical care: By combining our  panel of newly developed biomarkers with pre-existing standard-of-care biomarkers and state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we are developing a medical tool that will allow physicians to personalize patient medical care, to avoid crises and allow sickle cell warriors to enjoy an improved quality of life.

  • Accelerate the development of new therapies: Working together with industry leaders and implementing our innovative biomarker panel analyses in pre-clinical and clinical trials, we can identify and accelerate the development of new therapies and cures for sickle cell disease, while simultaneously predicting long term outcome for novel treatments.

The biomarkers:

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 Quantification of fetal hemoglobin per red blood cell

In sickle cell disease, if a certain proportion of a patient's red blood cells have an elevated HbF expression, above a particular threshold, these cells can be protected from sickling, thereby preventing the severe symptoms of the disease. It is therefore the distribution of HbF expression that is critical, rather than the total HbF percentage or the number of cells expressing HbF (F cells).

It is thus critical that novel therapeutics whose mechanism of action is to upregulate of HbF levels, such as some gene therapies, are evaluated in terms of the HbF distributions achieved. 

Using our precise, single-cell method of determining HbF content (in pg) per red blood cell, we can accurately quantify the HbF distribution in a patient’s red blood cells, thereby allowing us to assess and follow the efficacy of a therapy at the molecular level. Similar tools that we are currently developing will allow us this same level of assessment in gene therapies that are based on other hemoglobins (such as the correction of HbS back to HbA).

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A new method to quantify intra-vascular hemolysis

We have also developed a new method to measure products of intravascular hemolysis directly and accurately. These biomarkers allow us a snapshot into the pathophysiology of a patient, and also allow us to monitor the evolution of a patient’s disease.