UmanDiagnostics on Umeå Biotech Incubator was founded in 2006 by Niklas Norgren and Torgny Stigbrand. Since then, they have worked with the nerve damage biomarker and the protein NF-light. NF-Light is found in the nerve cells and if the nerves become damaged, due to a trauma or a neurological disease, the protein leaks out. Thanks to UmanDiagnostic\’s nerve marker, a blood sample can show how much of the NF-light protein that has leaked, which gives an indication of how big the damage is.
”Previously, we were only able to detect the protein in spinal fluid, but thanks to our collaboration with Quanterix, we got access to their analysis platform that can measure at molecular level. Now a blood sample is enough to find NF-light”, says Niklas Norgren.
And being able to make precise measurements is crucial. A research report shows that 16 years before a patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer\’s disease, one can show that the patient has the disease by measuring the amount of NF-light in the blood.
”This is great. It gives research opportunities on the disease and opportunities for better treatment of patients”, says Niklas Norgren.
At the end of June, the agreement was signed, which means that UmanDiagnostics becomes part of Quanterix.
”We are merging with our largest customer and partner. We look forward to working together with Quanterix to increase the quality of life for patients with neurological diseases. The agreement means, among other things, that we can take advantage of their marketing and sales department. That helps us spread our product to the world. Thanks to Quanterix, we can reach a much bigger market”, says Niklas Norgren.
UmanDiagnostics will keep its name and remain in Umeå. The only difference is that after the summer the company will be eight employees instead of six.
”The acquisition helps us scale up our business locally. It feels great that a large life science company like Quanterix is investing in Umeå. It is good for the industry – and Umeå”, says Niklas Norgren.
UmanDiagnostics’ biomarker can be used to detect several of the major neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer\’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson\’s.
”Our biomarker actually covers all the major neurological diseases, which is amazing. The biomarker has a very important role in detecting diseases at an early stage, which can spare a lot of suffering for patients, says Niklas Norgren.