Lab test launched for early detection of Sjögren's syndrome

November 23, 2013

Nicox has launched Sjö, an advanced diagnostic panel for the early detection of Sjögren's syndrome, and has formed a partnership with the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation to raise aware of this disease among eye care professionals.

Nicox has launched Sjö, an advanced diagnostic panel for the early detection of Sjögren's syndrome, and has formed a partnership with the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation to raise aware of this disease among eye care professionals.

Sjö is a proprietary laboratory test developed by Immco Diagnostics Inc. that combines traditional markers with three novel, proprietary biomarkers, which allow for earlier detection of Sjögren's syndrome.

Statistics support the prevalence and need for timely and correct diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, one of the most common and underdiagnosed autoimmune diseases. Sjögren's syndrome can lead to significant morbidity, diminished gland performance, and atrophy, and is estimated to affect 4 million people in the US, of which 3 million are undiagnosed.

Indeed, further estimates hold that of the 20 million patients aged 40 years and older who suffer from dry eyes in the US, 1 in 10 may also have Sjögren's syndrome. In addition, there is an average delay of 4.7 years for patients to receive an accurate diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome, and they are often diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.

One of the early hallmark symptoms of this disease is the attacking of moisture-producing glands by a patient's immune cells, resulting in dry eye symptoms. Since many Sjögren's patients first present to their eye care practitioner with dry eye symptoms, eye care practitioners have a unique and vital role in the early identification and diagnosis of this disease.

"The launch of a proprietary, novel test for early detection of Sjögren's Syndrome demonstrates the potential of ophthalmic diagnostics in a wide range of conditions… We are pleased to partner with the Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation to increase awareness of this serious and underdiagnosed condition among eye care practitioners across the country," said Jerry St. Peter, executive vice president and general manager, Nicox Inc.

"The Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation is honored to be partnering with Nicox as they unveil their new Sjögren's diagnostic," said Steven Taylor, chief executive officer of the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. "This partnership will help educate eye care professionals about the seriousness of Sjögren's and encourage them to identify potential Sjögren's patients, enabling them to receive proper diagnosis and timely medical care to treat this serious autoimmune disease," he concluded.