INNOVHEM has developed novel biomarkers that are specifically designed towards the pathophysiology of sickle cell disease. They allow to better understand disease progression and to monitor treatment efficacies.
Quantification of fetal hemoglobin per red blood cell
In sickle cell disease patients, fetal hemoglobin (HbF) is a protective factor which can inhibit the polymerisation of mutated hemoglobin (sickle hemoglobin). While HbF expression is directly corelated to patient survival, it is known that only single cell quantification, rather than total percentage of HbF expression, can accurately predict the protective effects of fetal hemoglobin (Steinberg et al., 2014).
INNOVHEM has developed a unique method allowing the precise single cell quantification of HbF expression. This method can accurately determine the HbF distribution in patient’s red blood cells at the single cell level (Hebert et al., 2020), allowing to follow the efficacy of the most common therapy, Hydroxyurea, as well as some gene therapy strategies.
A new method to quantify intra-vascular hemolysis
Sickle Cell Disease is a hemolytic disease; thus, it is of high importance to properly quantify intravascular hemolysis. The current biomarkers used are indirect and non-specific, leading to unreliable diagnosis of this pathological process. INNOVHEM has developed a new highly sensitive spectrophotometric method that allows to directly and accurately measure several biomarkers in plasma or serum including hemoglobin in various forms (HbO2, HbCO, MetHb), heme or hemin bound to albumin or to hemopexin, total bilirubin and total hemopexin (Kiger et al. 2019). Furthermore, these biomarkers have other applications such as in the diagnosis and severity assessment of delayed hemolytic transfusion reactions (DHTRs).
Parts of the figure were drawn by using pictures from Servier Medical Art. Servier Medical Art by Servier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
The first clinical score to predict painful crises:
At INNOVHEM, our mission is to improve the medical care of patients with sickle cell disease in order to improve their quality of life.
To that purpose, using artificial intelligence combined with both standard-of-care biomarkers and INNOVHEM’s novel biomarkers, we are developing the first clinical score able to predict the risk of painful crisis in the subsequent year. This will help physicians to personalize patient medical care, using available therapies, in order to avoid the crisis.