Waltham, MA and New York, NY — Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (OTCQB: ILIU) and NYU School of Medicine announced today they signed a license agreement to develop the first genetic test of its kind to identify individuals at increased risk for progression of osteoarthritis (OA) and related complications, such as knee replacement. The agreement pertains to U.S. patent application No. 12/435,260 titled “Detecting Genetic Predisposition to Osteoarthritis Associated Conditions,” which is jointly owned by NYU School of Medicine and Interleukin Genetics.
OA is the most common adult joint disease, increasing in frequency and severity in all aging populations. The estimated prevalence in the United States is 20-40 million patients; five times that of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Severe forms of OA often lead to joint replacement surgery.
Abram Goldfinger, executive director of the Office of Industrial Liaison at NYU, stated, “Interleukin Genetics is a leader in the development of genetics-based tests to identify Interleukin-1 gene variations associated with inflammatory diseases, and we believe they are well positioned to commercialize this novel technology for the benefit of the millions of patients who suffer from this debilitating disease.”
The test determines the risk of and guides therapy for the incident of OA, progression, and the severity of the disease, by identifying patients with certain variations in the Interleukin-1 gene cluster.
“The availability of genetic-based tests that predict progression of OA has the potential to aid not only in the treatment, but also in the development of disease modifying drugs, which do not currently exist for OA,” said Mukundan Attur, PhD, director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD) Rheumatology Research Laboratory. “A lot of drugs for OA have failed in the past, but now that patients can be selected in a targeted way for treatment they are much more likely to be successful.” HJD is a leader in treatment of OA and other inflammatory conditions.
Findings by Interleukin Genetics on the genetics of OA, in collaboration with NYU School of Medicine researchers Dr. Atttur and Steven Abramson, MD, the Frederick H. King Professor of Internal Medicine, chair of the Department of Medicine, and professor of pathology, published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, provide strong support for a central role of Interleukin-1 in the pathogenesis of OA. Studies supporting the role of Interleukin-1 in OA severity and progression have included data from animal susceptibility models, models of Interleukin-1 targeted therapy, genetic association studies, and elevated Interleukin gene expression in patients with generalized OA. In addition, genetic variations in the Interleukin-1 gene cluster have been determined to be associated with multiple clinical phenotypes in OA.
“The license agreement with NYU School of Medicine represents an expansion of our product portfolio based upon a large and growing body of evidence that links Interleukin-1 gene variations to a host of inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis,” said Lynn Doucette-Stamm, PhD, vice president of Development and Clinical Operations at Interleukin Genetics. “Our OA genetic test may provide physicians and pharmaceutical and medical device companies with novel genetic information to identify high- risk patients and personalized treatment options.”
The most common forms of OA involve the hand, knee, hip, and spine. The etiology of OA is multifactorial, involving both mechanical and biochemical factors. OA progression is associated with accelerated cartilage degradation leading to joint space narrowing, painful joint disruption, and functional compromise. OA disease progression is characterized by a proinflammatory gene expression pattern in cartilage and in joint synovial fluid, with a reactive increase in bone density in the subchondral bone. OA may involve a single joint or multiple joints in the same individual, with current therapy focused on pain relief, as there is no FDA-approved therapy that arrests or reverses the joint deterioration.
About NYU School of Medicine
NYU School of Medicine is one of the nation’s preeminent academic institutions dedicated to achieving medical education excellence. For more than 170 years, NYU School of Medicine has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history and enrich the lives of countless people. An integral part of NYU Langone Medical Center, the School of Medicine at its core is committed to improving the human condition through medical education, scientific research, and direct patient care. The School also maintains academic affiliations with area hospitals, including Bellevue Hospital, one of the nation’s finest municipal hospitals where its students, residents and faculty provide clinical and emergency care to New York City’s diverse population, which enhances the scope and quality of their medical education and training. Additional information about the NYU School of Medicine is available at http://school.med.nyu.edu/.
About Interleukin Genetics
Interleukin Genetics, Inc. (OTCQB: ILIU) develops and markets proprietary genetic tests for chronic diseases and health related conditions. The products empower individuals to prevent certain chronic conditions and manage their existing health and wellness through genetic-based insights with actionable guidance. Interleukin Genetics leverages its research, intellectual property and genetic panel development expertise in metabolism and inflammation to facilitate the emerging personalized healthcare market. The Company markets its tests through partnerships with health and wellness companies, healthcare professionals and other distribution channels. Interleukin Genetics’ lead products include its proprietary PerioPredict® genetic risk panel for periodontal disease and tooth loss susceptibility available through dentists, and the Inherent Health® Weight Management Genetic Test that identifies the most effective diet program for an individual based on genetics. Interleukin Genetics is headquartered in Waltham, MA, and operates an on-site, state-of-the-art DNA testing laboratory certified under the Clinical Laboratories Improvements Amendments (CLIA). For more information, please visit www.ilgenetics.com.
Certain statements contained herein are “forward-looking” statements, including statements that the Company is well positioned to commercialize this technology, and that the availability of genetics-based tests that predict the pregression of OA has the potential to aid not only in the treatment of, but also in the development of, disease-modifying drugs for OA. Because such statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any obligation or intention to update these forward-looking statements.