The Open Medicine Institute (OMI) to Develop First-ever Biomarkers for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a Range of Complex Diseases
The Open Medicine Institute (OMI), an organization with a mission to improve health care by applying a multi-disciplinary, “big data” approach, today announced that it will begin development of a biomarker for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and other prevalent, chronic but difficult-to-diagnose diseases.
Plans are in place for development of two key tests – a detection biomarker based on RNA expression data from patients and normal volunteers, and a theranostic tool to evaluate treatment efficacy. This is especially critical for CFS as there are no proven diagnostics or treatments and many patients and physicians are currently relying on anecdotal efficacy claims of multiple therapies in their efforts to get well. The proof-of-concept phase of the project has been generously funded by interested Silicon Valley donors and broadly, via the CFS community.
The novel biomarker project will be led by OMI utilizing Affymetrix’ microarray technology and platform. “With applications and expertise support from Affymetrix, we are looking forward to developing biomarkers for this enigmatic disease that affects over 8 million people globally,” said Andreas Kogelnik, MD, Ph.D., Founder of the Open Medicine Institute. “There is so much misinformation about CFS, we need to focus new tools and technologies on this disease to fully understand and treat it.”
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by a variety of symptoms including extreme fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Additional symptoms including exercise intolerance, profound weakness and fatigue, muscle pain and impaired memory typically have severe impacts on a patient’s life; in many cases rendering them disabled for years. Fewer than 20% of individuals will have been diagnosed with CFS and received correct medical attention for this disease.
“Affymetrix is pleased to support OMI on their quest to develop biomarkers for CFS as a model for other chronic diseases – helping to identify difficult to detect conditions and understand and guide treatment decisions,” said David Weaver, Chief Commercial Officer at Affymetrix.
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