GlyHealth-IBD is a prognostic and predictive biomarker to support clinical decision-making in IBD.   It is being developed by a consortium comprised of Avenna, our sister company Ludger and collaboration partners across the UK and Europe including the Translational Gastroenterology Unit (TGU), Oxford.

 

Ludger is our development partner for all the GlyHealth variants. The company specialises in glycomics technology to optimise the clinical performance of anti-inflammatory biologic drugs and track progression of inflammatory diseases (IDs).

 

During the GlyHealth-IBD programme we discovered that IBD-patients have aberrant blood plasma glycomics patterns that correlate with IBD-specific inflammatory processes.

This study has been carried out on over 400 patients and showed that GlyHealth-IBD reliably estimated IBD severity, future disease course and future need for treatment escalation in newly diagnosed IBD patients up to 18 months from testing. See the detailed results of our study here.

 

Our next steps are to test GlyHealth IBD capabilities as a precision medicine biomarker for two groups:

Biopharma

Test use of GlyHealth-IBD as a complementary biomarker of gut healing in clinical trials for anti-inflammatory drugs for IBD patients.

 

Ideally, this would include a range of therapeutic types including a biologic drug.

Test capabilities of GlyHealth-IBD as a precision medicine biomarker of: Current IBD severity

 

  • Disease prognosis and tracking
  • Need for future treatment escalation of IBD patients, focusing on newly-diagnosed patients
  • To identify immunofrail IBD patients at risk of experiencing poor health outcomes if they were to become infected with SARS-Cov-2 virus.

GlyHealth is our family of prognostic and predictive blood biomarkers of IDs. This unique method to analyse blood being developed to support proactive, precision medicine (PM) approaches to early detection, prevention, and treatment of chronic immune function disorders.

The tests work by analysing specific glycomics patterns of immune system glycoproteins in small samples of blood. Glycomics involves quantitative measurements of patterns of glycans. Glycans are highly-complex, typically branched, information-rich molecules which, in immune system glycoproteins, occur as post-translational additions to the protein backbone, often at multiple attachment sites. They are involved in wide range of biological processes, as it regulates the interaction of the molecules, and cells they are attached to, with surrounding environment. As such, glycans are involved in virtually every biological process in human body, from fertilization and embryogenesis, through cell proliferation, differentiation and development, to immunity and aging.

The glycans greatly diversify not only the structures of the proteins but also their functions, tuning the functions of immune system proteins. For example, the glycans of the Fc regions of serum IgG alter Fc effector functions including ADCC and CDC. In this way, glycans tune immune protein functions, just as adverbs tune verbs in human language.

Unlike conventional inflammation markers such as hs-CRP and IL-6, GlyHealth biomarkers measure chronic inflammation reliably, without interference from acute inflammation.  This robustness arises from the relatively long circulatory half-lives of immune system glycoforms. These are replaced over much longer time-scales (typically eight to twelve weeks), compared acute inflammation markers.

Our focus is on developing GlyHealth biomarkers for high-burden chronic-IDs that are difficult to detect and track, particularly at early stages of disease development. Our main disease targets for the next five years are inflammatory conditions affecting the gut, joints, skin, brain, and hormonal regulation. These conditions all involve various forms of degradation in immune function. We term the underlying degeneration mechanisms as immunofrailty (IF) pathways. IF pathways drive age-related immunosenescence, which relates to application of GlyHealth biomarkers in our programes on self-care to address unhealthy ageing. We are also using GlyHealth to investigate the relationship between IF pathways and differences in health outcomes from COVID-19 between different ethnic groups.