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Macular Degeneration Test Company Gets Investment

The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) in Toronto said today it has made an investment in molecular diagnostics company, ArcticDx Inc., also in Toronto. ArcticDx has developed Macula Risk, a test designed to determine one’s inherited risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of acquired blindness in the developed world, affecting over 10% of individuals.

ArcticDx will use the investment to conduct studies in preparation for a filing to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Macula Risk’s approval. Neither OGI nor the company disclosed the amount of the investment, but OGI’s Web site says its pre-commercialization program, from where the funds were drawn, has a maximum award of $100,000.

Macula Risk determines one’s risk of losing vision from AMD. It uses a saliva sample to detect the presence of certain genetic markers that are known to be responsible for vision loss. These genetic markers can then be analyzed and combined with environmental factors such as smoking history to determine the risk of losing one’s sight. Once that risk is understood, patients and health care providers can  develop a personalized program to manage the disease. Monitoring and treatment can begin before symptoms progress, making it possible to slow down or prevent the disease’s progression.

Related: Trial Shows No Difference in Drugs for Macular Degeneration

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