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Sistema dinámico de diagnóstico rápido de la cistinuria


Oferta Tecnológica
Un centro español de investigación pública ha desarrollado una tecnología de diagnóstico preciso y temprano de la cistinuria mediante un test de orina. Esta tecnología se basa en redes moleculares que producen una señal medible por fluorescencia cuando algunas sustancias se unen a cisteína o cistina. La tecnología presentada permite la detección temprana de cisteína y cistina presentes en orina mediante un ensayo económico y fiable. El test se basa en un sistema dinámico en el que sus componentes se reorganizan adecuadamente en presencia de estos aminoácidos, dando lugar a una entidad fluorescente detectable. Este método puede aplicarse en el diagnóstico temprano de cistinuria y otras enfermedades relacionadas con el almacenamiento anormal de cistina. El centro de investigación busca empresas con el fin de establecer acuerdos de licencia de patente y colaborar en la investigación para el desarrollo de sus aplicaciones.


Dynamic system for rapid cystinuria diagnosis
A Spanish public research institution has developed a technology for the precise and early diagnosis of cystinuria disease, through urine testing. It is based on molecular networks that produce a fluorescent measurable signal when some substances are linked to cysteine or cystine.
Companies interested in patent licensing and/or in a research collaboration for the development of its applications are sought.
Cystinuria is a rare congenital disease, affecting 1 in 7000 people. It is caused by the excess of cystine in the urine, which triggers the formation of stones or crystals in kidneys, ureters and bladder, as well as pain in the affected areas.
Among the current methods for diagnosis, the most common are the collection of stones for microscopic examination and the Brand test (cyanide-nitroprusside), which detects cystine excretion, but it is not specific enough as it can result in false positives due to the presence of other sulphur molecules or drugs, such as when patients are receiving a treatment of N-acetylcysteine, a usual mucolytic. More sophisticated methods are based on genetic tests which enable an early diagnosis but they are much more expensive.
The technology presented allows the early detection of cysteine and cystine present in urine by means of a cheap and reliable assay. The test is based on a dynamic system in which its components rearrange adequately in the presence of these amino acids, leading to a readable fluorescent entity.
This method may be applied to the early diagnosis of cystinuria and other diseases related to an abnormal cystine storage.
Preliminar studies with cystinuria patients samples show a good correlation between the patient condition and the cysteine/cystine measurements obtained.
The Spanish research center, with a broad experience in the development of this kind of dynamic networks, is searching for pharmaceutical or diagnostic companies that could be interested in the use of this assay to diagnose and monitor cystinuria patients, under a patent licence. Companies interested in this technology should carry out either by themselves or through research collaboration with our organization some further development of the test and the clinical validation to reach the market.

Advantages and Innovations:
The main features of this test are:
· The sensor allows detecting cysteine in its reduced (Cys) or oxidized (cystine) forms without extra preparation steps.
· High selectivity against other biothiols such as homocistine, glutathione or N-acetylcysteine present in urine, overcoming false positives.
· Sensitivity. No interference with other typical amino acids present in urine samples.
· Detection range: 50 µM - 1 mM. Stone-producing cystinuria starts from 0.8 mM Cys in urine.
· Inexpensive, rapid (ca. 1 hour) and feasible test based on fluorescence reading.

Stage of Development:
Under development/lab tested
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
Spanish patent application filed, suitable for international extension

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Pharma, diagnostic or biotech companies interested in diagnostics are being sought to develop and commercialize this diagnostic method through a patent licence agreement.

- Licensing agreement: The partner would license the technology to obtain the regulatory certifications and commercialise and bring it to market.

- Research cooperation agreement: The partner and the institution could undertake a joint effort to further develop this technology, optimising the test format and doing clinical validation addressing specific needs of the market.


Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
06001005 Diagnósticos, diagnosis
06002007 Ensayos in vitro, experimentos