A pioneering blood test that speeds up the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) will be released this year.
 
The IsolateMS blood test works in just 7 days, and has reported an accuracy of 90%, according to Multiple Sclerosis News Today. Current testing methods, such as MRIs, can take significantly longer to reach a diagnosis, since they rely on measuring the progress of neurological damage.
 
With the IsolateMS, physicians can administer the test at the onset of the disease.
 
“The 90% accuracy rate of IsolateMS should give providers and patients a great deal of confidence in their results,” Chase Spurlock, CEO of IQuity, told Multiple Sclerosis News Today. “This test augment existing clinical practice and eliminates the period of uncertainly that can accompany an MS diagnosis. IsolateMS allows patients and providers to begin discussing next steps immediately.”
 
The blood test was developed by the Tennessee-based molecular diagnostics startup IQuity. The company began working on the new IsolateMS blood test in January 2016, after the National Institutes of Health granted the company $2 million in seed funding.
 
The IsolateMS is designed to assess a patients’ RNA levels and gene expression, according to Multiple Sclerosis News Today. Prior research by the company shows that patients with autoimmune diseases exhibit distinct RNA expression patters in the blood that differ from individuals without the disease. These findings suggest that RNA markers could be an efficacious way to diagnose autoimmune diseases.
 
Investigators used machine-learning to create a disease-identifying algorithm with the ability to recognize differentially expressed protein-coding genes and noncoding-genes, Multiple Sclerosis News Today reported.
 
IQIsolate, the company’s suite of algorithms, helps scientists analyze RNA markers obtained from a patient’s blood sample and matches their RNA profiles against healthy and sick patient profiles. The process helps determine if a patient’s gene expression pattern is consistent with a specific disease.
 
IsolateMS expected release date is May 2017.