IQuity Inc. is developing assays to diagnose autoimmune diseases as soon as symptoms appear based on differences in RNA expression of both coding and non-coding genes. The company’s first test could help physicians confirm difficult multiple sclerosis diagnoses three to five years earlier than standard criteria.

MS is diagnosed via the McDonald criteria, which assess the number and timing of attacks, lesions detected by MRI and findings such as elevated IgG antibodies or oligoclonal bands in cerebrospinal fluid, among other factors. Though treating MS early is thought to lead to better outcomes, IQuity CEO Chase Spurlock said when the McDonald criteria are inconclusive, it can take physicians three to five years to reach a diagnosis and start treatment. He said IQuity’s IsolateMS test could help physicians reach a diagnosis earlier in inconclusive cases, but declined to say how often this happens.

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