Startup company Molecular Stethoscope has announced a partnership with 23 academic and medical institutions to test and validate their cell-free RNA diagnostics technology in a wide range of neurodegenerative and liver diseases. The company has received over 700 plasma and serum patient samples, including from patients with ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. The technology uses rapid analysis of the the cell-free transcriptome in blood samples to detect organ damage. Under this new initiative, the company will apply this approach to detect disease-specific signatures that could be leveraged for diagnosis and drug development. The original technology was developed in the laboratories of Stephen Quake at Stanford University and Eric Topol at Scripps Health (Koh et al., 2014).
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