Summary of the technology
• Use of α-ketoglutarate as a novel biomarker of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
• α-ketoglutarate analysis is a non-invasive quantitative measure of liver steatosis.
• This method may reduce the need for liver biopsy, particularly in patients with metabolic risk factor.
• The method could be used to design a kit to detect and quantify plasma α-ketoglutarate concentration.
• Measurement of this biomarker may be useful in the assessment of NAFLD progression.
Description of the technology
The Unit of Biomedical Research (CRB) of the Rovira i Virgili University has developed a new method based on the measurement of α-ketoglutarate as a new biomarker of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The measurement of this biomarker may potentiate the search for a therapeutic approach, may decrease the need for liver biopsy and may be useful in the assessment of disease progression.
The association of morbid obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) carries a severe impact on human health. Liver biopsy is the sole procedure to unequivocally assess NAFLD diagnosis and clinical progression. A no targeted metabolomics approach provided knowledge to discover that plasma α-ketoglutarate levels distinguish lean controls from obese patients. Circulating α-ketoglutarate is able to differentiate obese patients with steatosis from those without steatosis. An accurate quantification of circulating α-ketoglutarate segregates patients with different degrees of steatosis. The Unit of Biomedical Research (CRB) has developed a method for the accurate quantification of plasma α-ketoglutarate as a novel biomarker of NAFLD.
Main advantages of its use
- It may reduce the need for liver biopsy, particularly in patients with metabolic risk factor. So, it is a non-invasive detection method.
- Obese patients with steatosis can be distinguished from those without steatosi.
- The method allows diagnosing NAFLD without doing a liver biopsy.
- Use of plasma α-ketoglutarate concentration as a useful biomarker to identify the severity and/or occurrence of liver steatosis.
- This technology is oriented to the biochemistry and clinical sector. Companies that develop commercial kits might be interested in this technology. α-Ketoglutaric measurement in serum could be a useful biomarker to identify the severity and/or occurrence of liver steatosis so it could be also applied to the discovery and development of novel therapeutic drugs and a better prediction of clinical outcomes.
About Fundació URV
Technology Transfer Office from SpainFundació URV
The Technology Transfer and Innovation Center (CTTi) meets from the University environment the technological needs and services generated by the productive sectors and administration, through the management of Transfer of Technology and Knowledge, the Intellectual and Intellectual Property management, Technology Watch, Entrepreneurship, and Technology Infrastructures Offer (business incubator).