American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting
American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting
October 10, 2018
1 min read

Second-generation IBS blood test available for commercial distribution

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Mark Pimentel
Mark Pimentel

PHILADELPHIA – Gemelli Biotech, in cooperation with the Medically Associated Science and Technology Program at Cedars-Sinai, announced the availability of ibs-smart, a blood test for the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, at the close of the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting.

“When you diagnose a patient with IBS through a process of elimination, it takes a serious toll on the patient, financially and emotionally,” Mark Pimentel, MD, FRCPC, executive director of the Medically Associated Science and Technology (MAST) program at Cedars-Sinai and co-founder of Gemelli Biotech, said in a press release. “If we apply that old approach across 40 million people, that’s a huge economic burden on the health care system overall. We can now avoid conducting complicated and expensive tests to rule out other diseases, and simply ‘rule in’ IBS.”

Pimentel previously showed through his research that Cytolethal distending toxin B (CdtB) and anti-vinculin are elevated in patients with IBS-D and IBS-M. Since that discovery, Pimentel and researchers at MAST devised a blood test to measure those levels.

“As our scientific understanding of post-infectious IBS and its antibody biomarkers has advanced, we’ve continued to advance the technology used to test the blood for these substances,” Pimentel said. “For example, our ability to manage and measure anti-CdtB has improved through epitope optimization, which has significantly increased the test’s likelihood ratio and overall accuracy.”

This test is licensed to Gemelli Biotech through its cooperation with MAST, the company said in the release. According to the release, results from the blood test are available within 48 hours and positive results indicate IBS-D with a positive predictive value greater than 90%.

“For decades, patients with IBS were told that it was just in their heads. We are finally seeing the global perspective on IBS shift as we continue to better understand its underlying pathophysiology. That’s good news for patients and doctors alike,” Pimentel said in the release.

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Disclosure: Pimentel is cofounder of Gemelli Biotech and has equity interest in the company.