Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics was granted three new US patents for methods of diagnosing endometriosis, in an effort to identify immunological markers that may be useful in development of immunodiagnostic tests to help those afflicted by this disease.

Endometriosis, characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue in abdominal locations outside of the uterus, is a serious disease that affects about 10% of females of childbearing age. Diagnosis is difficult in affected women and is ultimately dependent on invasive and surgical methods for confirmation. Women suffering with the disease endure symptoms for long periods of time, with significant medical expense, before definitive diagnosis can be made using surgical methods.

To help address this health issue, Siemens undertook a program to identify immunological markers useful in the in vitro diagnosis of endometriosis. The approach involved screening recombinant endometriosis proteins for reactivity with antibodies present in the serum of women who had the disease. Thousands of candidate markers were screened over the course of the multi-year study, with a few being selected that reacted with antibodies present in the serum of affected women. Siemens filed US patent documents for some of these candidates, and was recently granted three patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Source: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics