LifeLabs launches arthritis blood test JOINTstat in Canada
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services has launched JOINTstat, a diagnostic blood test for rheumatoid arthritis. The JOINTstat blood test is the first test of its kind available in Canada that aids in the early detection and diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. When caught and treated early, rheumatoid arthritis outcomes can be greatly improved.
Through an agreement with Augurex Life Sciences Corp., developer of
the JOINTstat test, JOINTstat is now offered exclusively by LifeLabs to
patients and physicians across Canada.
“LifeLabs is committed to building a healthier Canada through the
delivery of innovative testing services to patients and health-care
providers” said Jeff Sumner, senior vice-president of business
development, clinical affairs and genetics at LifeLabs. “We are
delighted to partner with Augurex to offer JOINTstat to Canadians.
JOINTstat will help physicians diagnose and treat the many Canadians who
suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.”
The JOINTstat test measures
14-3-3eta, a protein involved in joint damage that leads to debilitation
in patients with RA, a disease that affects one out of every 100
Canadians. High levels of 14-3-3eta protein indicate that the patient
should be referred to a rheumatologist.
The development of
14-3-3eta is a true Canadian success story. The 14-3-3eta protein’s role
in arthritis was a collaborative discovery by researchers Dr. Walter
Maksymowych at the University of Alberta and Drs. Aziz Ghahary and
Ruhangiz Kilani at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and
Vancouver General Hospital. JOINTstat has been evaluated in clinical
studies in over 3,000 patients and has been available in the United
States since late 2013.
“When diagnosed early, rheumatoid
arthritis can be better managed with drug therapies, resulting in better
outcomes by limiting disease progression. Current diagnostic tests are
limited in their ability to catch the disease early,” said Maksymowych,
Medical Research Professor of Medicine and Rheumatologist at the
University of Alberta and co-discoverer of 14-3-3eta. “With the
availability of JOINTstat in Canada, physicians now have the opportunity
to treat rheumatoid arthritis early, prior to the onset of significant
joint damage. This represents an important milestone towards the goal of
As an exhibitor at the upcoming 2015
Canadian Rheumatology Association Annual Scientific Meeting in Quebec
City from Feb. 4 to 7, LifeLabs will present JOINTstat data along with
leading Canadian and international investigators that describe
14-3-3eta’s role in the disease process and the clinical usefulness of
its measurements for diagnosis, joint damage prognosis and monitoring.
specimen collection kits can be ordered by physicians in Canada by
calling 1-877-990-1575 or by visiting the LifeLabs website. The cost of the test is $75, which may be
covered by private insurance.