Study appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology – research team led by Richard Zager MD at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
SEATTLE, WA, January 5, 2011 — Pacific Biomarkers, Inc. (OTCBB: PBMC), a provider of biomarker laboratory services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics industries, announced that it has noted, with great interest, the publication of new studies suggesting that a simple urine test could help prevent cases of kidney failure.
In the study that appeared in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, a research team led by Richard Zager MD at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center investigated whether certain proteins produced during injury and infection might be excreted in the urine and serve as diagnostic biomarkers of acute kidney injury (AKI). Specifically, they measured the diagnostic potential of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a protein that plays a role in recruiting immune cells to injured or infected sites in the body. The investigators found elevated levels of MCP-1 as well as its mRNA in urine samples from mice and humans with AKI.
Commenting on these findings, Timothy Carlson PhD, Laboratory Director and Senior Director of Biomarker Innovation at Pacific Biomarkers Inc (PBI), noted that Dr. Osun Kwon and coworkers from Penn State University School of Medicine recently reported that urinary levels of many proteins and peptides called cytokines increase following the inflammation that accompanies AKI.
“The work reported by Zager and coworkers suggests that the inflammation associated with AKI results in the production of a relatively large amount of MCP-1 in the kidney, and that MCP-1 may be a more specific biomarker of AKI than other cytokines,” Dr. Carlson said.
Dr. Carlson also noted that MCP-1 has been previously suggested as a diagnostic marker for renal injury in diabetes patients, in whom chronic renal failure is a major outcome, and that these data reinforce its potential utility as a biomarker of AKI. The work, he said, further indicates that MCP-1 may even be a better biomarker of AKI than neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), a biomarker that has previously been established as a sensitive indicator of AKI.
“More work will need to be done comparing MCP-1 with other biomarkers, such as KIM-1, clusterin, cystatin C and albumin, as well as alpha-GST, IL-18, L-FABP, beta-2-microglobulin, N-acetylglucosaminidase and calbindin, to establish if its sensitivity as a biomarker for AKI meets or exceeds that of these other, more well-established urine markers for AKI,” Dr. Carlson stated.
The levels of MCP-1 in normal human urine are readily measured by established ELISA methods. MCP-1 is currently measured at PBI using an ELISA method that has excellent analytical sensitivity, precision and accuracy, said Dr. Carlson, who noted that NGAL, KIM-1, clusterin, cystatin C, urine albumin, alpha-GST, IL-18, L-FABP, beta-2-microglobulin, N-acetylglucosaminidase and calbindin are measured by similar methods.
About Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
Established in 1989, PBI provides biomarker laboratory services and contract research services to support pharmaceutical and diagnostic manufacturers conducting human clinical trial research. PBI provides expert services in the areas of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, diabetes, obesity, and nutrition. The PBI laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists, New York State, and the Lipid Standardization Program. PBI’s clients include many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic companies. PBI also provides clinical biomarker services focusing on the emerging field of biomarker assay development and testing. Services include validating and performing custom assays for novel clinical biomarkers, immunogenicity testing, cell-based assays, mass spectrometry, and multiplex testing.
PBI is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and its common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “PBMC”.
For more information about PBI, visit PBI’s website at www.pacbio.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, the following: results of business development activities; future growth; and the viability and acceptance of PBI’s biomarker services. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, the following: PBI’s ability to enter into contracts for its laboratory testing or biomarker services; client changes or early terminations of studies; variability in backlog; the success of marketing and business development efforts, and competitive factors; PBI’s ability to manage growth; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2009).
Pacific Biomarkers, Inc.
Ron Helm, CEO
The Investor Relations Group