Siemens Granted Three New U.S. Patents for In Vitro Methods of Diagnosing Endometriosis
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics was granted three new U.S. patents for methods of diagnosing endometriosis, in an effort to identify immunological markers that may be useful in development of immunodiagnostic tests to help those afflicted by this disease.
Endometriosis, characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue in abdominal locations outside of the uterus, is a serious disease that affects about 10% of females of childbearing age. Diagnosis is difficult in affected women and is ultimately dependent on invasive and surgical methods for confirmation. Women suffering with the disease endure symptoms for long periods of time, with significant medical expense, before definitive diagnosis can be made using surgical methods.
To help address this health issue, Siemens undertook a program to identify immunological markers useful in the in vitro diagnosis of endometriosis. The approach involved screening recombinant endometriosis proteins for reactivity with antibodies present in the serum of women who had the disease. Thousands of candidate markers were screened over the course of the multi-year study, with a few being selected that reacted with antibodies present in the serum of affected women. Siemens filed U.S. patent documents for some of these candidates, and was recently granted three patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.¹
“While sometimes necessary, diagnosing disease through invasive methods is often accompanied by long and painful recovery periods, not to mention, traditionally higher healthcare costs,” said Dave Hickey, CEO, Chemistry, Immunoassay, Automation and Diagnostics IT Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. “For those suffering from endometriosis, Siemens recognized an opportunity to find an innovative solution that may deliver a rapid, immunodiagnostic test as a much less invasive option to help this patient population.”
Launched in November 2011, Agenda 2013 is a global initiative to further strengthen the innovative power and competitiveness of the Siemens Healthcare Sector. Specific measures will be implemented in four fields of action: Innovation, Competitiveness, Regional Footprint, and People Development.
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2011 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.5 billion euros and profit of around 1.3 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.
1U.S. Patent 7,879,562, Methods of diagnosing endometriosis in human subjects using the ME-5 polypeptide; U.S. Patent 7,981,626, Method of detecting endometriosis in human subjects using SEQ ID No. 9 or an epitope thereof; and U.S. Patent 8,030,007, Method for the detection of endometriosis using an ME-2 antigen.