sphingotec and bestbion dx partner to market predictive biomarkers for guidance of therapy in acute heart failure and septic shock

Hennigsdorf-Berlin/Cologne  – German diagnostics company SphingoTec GmbH (Hennigsdorf) and bestbion dx GmbH (Cologne) have signed an agreement to market sphingotec’s innovative sepsis and congestive heart failure test (sphingotest® bio-ADM) and acute kidney function monitoring assay (sphingotest® penKid). Under the agreement, bestbion dx will market both biomarker assays, set to improve therapy monitoring and outcomes in intensive care units and emergency departments, in Germany and Austria.

bio-ADM is a biomarker for vascular dysfunction, which allows to predict septic shock and thus can guide treatment choices. In congestive heart failure, bio-ADM is the first biomarker that identifies patients having (residual) edema and patients at high risk to develop life-threating residual (i.e. lung) edemas, caused by incomplete response or therapy resistance to decongestion therapy with loop diuretics. Unidentified residual congestion is the major cause for re-hospitalization and post-discharge mortality in congestive heart failure patients causing 30% of deaths and global annual cost of US$39bn. penKid is a kidney function biomarker predictive for acute kidney failure (AKI), which frequently occurs in congestive heart failure patients receiving diuretics. Monitoring of congestive heart failure patients, who receive diuretics, with both, bio-ADM and penKid, thus allows physicians to prevent AKI while excluding incomplete decongestion.

sphingotest® penKid and sphingotest® bio-ADM complement bestbion dx’s portfolio of marketed assays in the area of congestive heart failure. The company already markets an assay for ST2, an innovative biomarker that detects cardiac remodeling early on and opens the avenue to early intervention and an optimized adjustment of congestive heart failure therapies.

„We are delighted that bestbion dx will distribute our acute care biomarker assays for therapy monitoring and adjustment“, said Dr. Andreas Bergmann, founder and CEO of SphingoTec GmbH. „Our biomarker assays support physicians with information to monitor and adjust the diuretics therapy to the need of each individual patient suffering from congestion“.

„sphingotec’s tests complement our portfolio of marketed biomarker assays to monitor congestive heart failure“, said Werner Dummert, Sales Director of bestbion dx. „ penKid, bio-ADM and ST2 are a dream team for physicians, as they can contribute to significant improvements in the adjustment of beta-blocker and diuretics dosage in congestive heart failure and associated acute kidney injury. The collaboration with sphingotec perfectly reflects bestbion dx’s mission statement „Rescue and sustain lives“.

About congestive heart failure: About 1.8 million Germans and 250.000-300.000 Austrians suffer from congestive heart failure. The characteristic loss of pump function of the heart triggers cardiac remodeling – the heart gets stiffer, fibrotic, and cannot pump enough blood into the circulatory system. The lower pump efficacy causes lower oxygen saturation and results in congestion, which means that blood returning to the heart through the veins backs up, resulting in higher venous pressure and causing fluids to build up in the tissues (edema). About 80% of patients with congestive heart failure are at risk to develop edema, because their microvasculature becomes leaky due to venous hypertension. Physicians try to prevent the worst case – deadly lung edemas – by administration of loop diuretics, which can reduce hypertension by increasing water excretion. However, not all patients fully respond to diuretics. Incomplete response to diuretics therapy is the most common cause of re-hospitalization and post discharge mortality in patients with congestive heart failure. It’s not yet fully understood why patients with congestive heart failure often experience acute kidney injury (AKI). However, there is growing evidence that AKI can be attributed to congestion („cardio-renal syndrome“) and that, vice versa, AKI can trigger heart problems. Management of fluid balance with loop diuretics is challenging – if too much fluid is excreted from tissues, this will support development of AKI. On the other hand, if too little fluid is excreted, lung edemas could return. Besides that, a large proportion of patients with congestive heart failure does not fully respond to diuretics treatment, leading to undetected residual congestion. To date, physicians have no means to identify these patient group at discharge, resulting in high re-hospitalization and post-discharge mortality rates.

About penKid: penkid is the very first plasma marker to monitor renal function, which is independent from comorbidities and inflammation and provides timely information about the changing kidney function in critically ill patients. sphingotest® penKid is non-inferior to the gold standard in vivo measurement of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and penkid is elevated about 24-48 h earlier than the standard marker serum creatinine in patients developing acute kidney injury (AKI). These features enable physicians to predict, diagnose and closely monitor worsening and improving kidney function in critically ill patients. In congestive heart failure, penKid allows to adjust diuretics dosage to the situation in individual patients.

About bio-ADM: As a marker of acute vascular endothelial dysfunction, bio-ADM enables both prediction of circulatory shock, e.g. in septic patients, and prediction of residual, diuretic resistant congestion in acute heart failure patients. bio-ADM plasma levels below the cut-off value of 70 pg/ml indicate successful diuretic therapy.

A biomarker-assisted diuretics therapy in patients with congestive heart failure, by simultaneous monitoring of bio-ADM and penKid levels, promises lower re-hospitalization and mortality rates.

About ST2: ST2 is a fibrosis marker rapidly indicating cardiac remodeling. It can be used for prognosis and therapy monitoring and dosage adjustment of beta-blocker therapy in patients with congestive heart failure, which has been shown to reduce mortality and re-hospitalization.

SphingoTec GmbH (Hennigsdorf, Germany) develops innovative biomarkers for prediction, diagnosis and therapy monitoring of AKI, congestive heart failure and septic shock. The company, founded by Dr. Andreas Bergmann in 2002, has also in its portfolio biomarkers which can predicts risks of obesity, breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

bestbion dx GmbH (Cologne, Germany) is one of the European-leading distributor of innovative diagnostic and prognostic assays with outstanding track-record in Germany and Austria. The private company was founded in 2011 by Bernd Stammel and focuses on microbiology, infectious diseases, molecular biology, cardiology and point-of-care testing.

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