Note: LabCorp has received a patent on a method for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders.
Abstract: The invention generally relates to methods for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders. In certain embodiments, the invention provides a method for diagnosing presence or increased risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder in a subject.
The method, invented by David Michael Margulies and Mark Firman Bear of Massachusetts, involves taking a tissue or body sample from a subject and then conducting a test to identify variant sequences in the subject’s genetic code, which may signify “the presence or an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorders.” Testing can be done on children and fetuses, according to the patent.
The method is stated to aid in the diagnosis of five autism spectrum disorders, all of which fall under the umbrella of pervasive developmental disorders: autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett’s disorder, and nonspecific pervasive developmental disorders.
The method claims to have multiple applications, each of which provides insight into the biological basis of autism spectrum disorders through different lenses.
First, the testing of a body sample and the finding of variant sequences could lead to comparison with known variant sequences linked to autism spectrum disorders, which could lead to a more definitive diagnosis. In similar cases, entirely new variant sequences may be found, and their link to autism spectrum disorders may be analyzed. Read more here.
The article below is from 2013 - SynapDx gets $2M for early autism test
Less than three months after SynapDx Corp. received $6 million in financing from venture capital firms, the Lexington diagnostics company has gotten another $2 million for a test to detect autism in children.
The funding, announced Friday, comes from Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (NYSE: LH), a $5.6 billion company based in Burlington, N.C. that operates a nationwide network of 38 primary testing locations and more than 1,500 patient service centers.
According to a statement from SynapDx, the investment will go toward clinical development of its blood-based autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnostic test, which is designed to identify children with autism by the age of 3, earlier than the current average of 4.5 years. The company said the test would be the first step toward SynapDx’s goal of building a broad range of pediatric neurodevelopment tests. The test measures the differences in RNA gene expression to distinguish between children with a higher risk for ASDs from those without.
In December, the company raised $6 million in funding from North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners, also to support development of the diagnostic test. According to a federal filing, the company also received $9.4 million in equity investment in June 2010.