Diabetics could soon be able to discover their chances of developing kidney disease thanks to a unique test developed by an Australian biotech.
Proteomics International Laboratories has developed the predictive blood test for the potentially life-threatening disease, which it describes as a “global breakthrough”.
Following the simple test, appropriate treatment can be provided to people to prevent the onset of the illness, potentially saving billions of dollars in health care costs.
Proteomics says that until now there has been no predictive test for diabetic kidney disease.
Diabetes is largest cause of kidney disease.
More than 380 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 35 per cent of adults with diabetes in the US have chronic kidney disease.
“The commercial benefits, medical benefits and cost savings in commercialising the test are enormous,” Proteomics said on Tuesday.
“In Australia alone, the total cost to the health system and in productivity loss from diabetes is estimated at $10.3 billion annually.”
Shares in Proteomics more than tripled in value in the wake of the news on Tuesday.
The stock was 49 cents higher at 69.5 cents at 1516 AEST.
Proteomics will discuss the test with major pharmaceutical companies at the world’s largest biotechnology conference, BIO 2015, in Philadelphia in the US next week.
The company believes the test could enable drug companies to identify at-risk patient groups and then provide drugs to treat those patients.
This could provide Proteomics with substantial returns from licensing fees and royalties.
The Proteomics test measures biological signatures in the blood of patients with diabetes to determine the likelihood of those patients contracting diabetic kidney disease.
In an ongoing clinical study of 576 patients with diabetes, where one in 10 participants had a significant and rapid decline in kidney function, the Proteomics test correctly predicted 67 per cent of those patients so affected.