The Promembrane® technology
The patented Promembrane® technology enables the study of membrane bound proteins in a proteomic platform. Because of the physiological relevance of membrane bound proteins, currently undetectable by two-dimensional electrophoresis, the Promembrane® technology places ICDD in an ideal position to discover and develop novel physiologically relevant biomarkers.
The relatively recent discovery that mild-cognitive impairment (MCI) may lead to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has naturally prompted interest in providing treatment during that phase to stop dementia before it starts. MCI is estimated to be present in 12-18% over 65 (Bennett 2002, Unverzagt 2001). Conversion to AD occurs in 50% of MCI patients over the course of 5 years (Frisonni, 2004). It is therefore crucial to determine how to identify people with MCI who are at high risk for AD dementia. A correct prediction of MCI conversion to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents a primary goal in routine clinical practice. ICDD has thus focus one of its research programs on that goal. In fact, ICDD is the promoter of a clinical trial (i.e 170 patients followed for 3 years) under the supervision of the Pr. Michel, principal investigator and head of the behavioral neurology department at APHM. .
Futhermore, ICDD was chosen to be part of the European Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) consortium specialized in the identification of biomarkers for AD (Pharmacog).
Muscular dystrophy & AIDS
The muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic diseases that cause deterioration of the muscles and eventually lead to muscle wasting, muscle weakness, bone deformities and disability. These disorders vary in their age of onset, in severity and in the pattern of which muscles are affected. Due to this heterogeneity, diagnosing a muscular dystrophy is clinically challenging.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), is the world’s third most common type of muscular dystrophy. It is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakening in the face, shoulders, and upper arms.
ICDD is interested in the FSHD population in many respects:
Although genetic testing is available for this pathology, there are no stratification biomarkers associated with the staging of muscle degeneration. Proving efficacy of a treatment in this heterogeneous population is therefore very risky. We are developing biochemical biomarkers specific of early degeneration stages that will facilitate the development of therapies in FSHD patients. This collaborative work with scientists in Montpellier has been recognized for its innovative and promising technologies and is co-financed by OSEO and from the National Department for Research and Education.
Furthermore, muscular dystrophy may also result from drug-induced injury to the muscle such as that resulting from anti-viral treatments in asymptomatic AIDS patients. 17-25% AIDS positive patients treated with anti-viral therapies develop muscular dystrophies resembling FSHD in its clinical expression. ICDD thus intends to validate its FSHD-staging biomarker in the AIDS population.