Predictive Biomarkers for Detection of Organ Damage in Autoimmune Illness


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) affects approximately one million Americans and at least 3.5 million individuals worldwide. Nearly half of the patients diagnosed with SLE will have involvement of a major organ, such as the kidneys or lungs. Florida International University (FIU) is pursuing business partners interested in developing and commercializing a new product to detect lung and kidney damage in SLE and other autoimmune illnesses. Currently, there is an unmet need for a rapid and minimally invasive test to identify organ damage in these patients and to track their progression over time.

This FIU technology can be used to identify kidney or lung involvement in blood from patients with autoimmune disorders. Using a routine blood sample, clinicians would be able to identify patients with kidney or lung diseases and could create and initiate personalized treatments specifically aimed to prevent, reduce, or halt the involvement of certain organs for the individual patient. FIU researchers have developed tests to predict kidney or lung involvement in blood from patients with autoimmune diseases. To date very few predictive biomarkers for autoimmune-associated kidney disease exist. Additionally, there are no predictive biomarkers that can identify patients with autoimmune diseases who have lung involvement.

  • Tool for the prediction of the onset and rapid diagnosis of lung disease and/or kidney involvement in patients diagnosed with autoimmune disorders.
  • Pre-screening tool for kidney or lung damage that may identify patients who need additional tests and treatments.
  • A product to predict lung disease that could: a) be expanded to identify other lung diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, pulmonary vascular lesions, interstitial lung diseases; b) be implemented to track lung damage typical of smoking over time.
  • A product to predict kidney disease that could: a) be expanded to predict other kidney diseases, including glomerular disorders, proteinuria, hematuria, renal cysts, kidney cancer; b) employed to record kidney damage in diabetic patients over the disease course.
  • Assays that could be used to monitor the success of transplanted lungs and kidneys, as well as, to monitor the success of treatment aim to improve lung and kidney disorders.
  • Provides for a minimally invasive alternative to detect lung or kidney disease using peripheral blood.
  • Less expensive to implement does not necessitate the purchase of additional costly machinery, such as X-ray or CT equipment.
  • Allows for easier implementation by removing the need for additional, specially-trained personnel to detect lung disease as the test can be performed as part of general bloodwork during a routine doctor’s office visit.
  • Offers improved detection of lung diseases, even in clinically asymptomatic individuals providing the potential for earlier intervention.

For additional information about this technology opportunity, please contact Elizabeth Garami at or by phone at 305-348-0008 and ask about record IP 1411.