Diagnostic Hybrids Releases Thyretain™ for Specific Detection of Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins

August 24, 2009

Athens, OH – Diagnostic HYBRIDS announces the FDA clearance, for marketing under the 510(k) pre-notification process, of the ThyretainTM TSI Reporter BioAssay. Thyretain is an in vitro diagnostic use test that specifically detects auto-antibodies called thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI) in patient serum. Thyretain is the first FDA-cleared test that specifically detects TSI and is to be used as an aid in the differential diagnosis of Graves’ disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. The Thyretain TSI Reporter BioAssay Kit is available for commercial use after a recently completed, 2-phase multi-site, clinical trial of the product in nearly 600 patients.

Graves’ disease is characterized by the presence of TSI in the bloodstream which results in over-stimulation of the thyroid gland and low thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels, a condition known as hyperthyroidism.  Eighty percent of Graves’ disease cases occur in women1, and can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms vary greatly and often mimic other illnesses2.

“Initial symptoms for thyroid disorders can often be nonspecific.” said Dr Frank L. Schwartz, MD. “By finding TSI’s in patient serum, Thyretain is a rapid and reliable bioassay that provides a definitive assessment that could lead to earlier diagnosis of Graves’ disease and better patient management.”  Dr. Schwartz is Professor of Endocrinology and J.O. Watson Chair for Diabetes Research and Director of the ARHI Diabetes Center at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Thyretain provides laboratories with the ability to test for TSI using standard laboratory equipment, and unlike other non-specific thyroid-related assays, does not require the use of radioactivity and eliminates ambiguity of test results that can be confounded by the presence of non-TSI auto-antibodies. The kit includes a genetically-engineered cell line that produces the reporter enzyme luciferase in response to specific TSI binding and the amount of luciferase produced is then rapidly detected using a luminometer.

“When used earlier when hyperthyroidism is first suspected, this assay may provide primary care physicians and patients alike reliable diagnostic information when classic symptoms of goiter or thyroid-related eye disease (ophthalmopathy) are absent”, said Jeff Houtz, Senior Product Manager for Thyretain.  Houtz further noted that earlier diagnosis of Graves’ disease may lead to an increased awareness and consideration of medical therapy before a decision to radio-ablate the patient’s thyroid is chosen.

Graves’ disease affects 1-2% of the population3, and mostly appears in women in their forties4. Thyretain will enable physicians to detect TSI in the bloodstream and assist them in confirming the diagnosis of Graves’ disease sooner than with standard thyroid test panels only.

According to Elaine Moore, MT (ASCP), "this new bio-assay for TSI from Diagnostic Hybrids offers greater specificity as it only detects the TSI present in a patient’s serum, aiding in a more accurate early diagnosis of Graves' disease, and with further studies may be shown useful for evaluating the patient's response to therapy, and predicting remission from disease." Moore is a Graves' disease patient and author of "Graves' Disease, A Practical Guide."

The Thyretain TSI Reporter BioAssay will be made available through major commercial reference laboratories in the U.S., and in select hospital systems, within forty-five days. For more information, please visit www.dhiusa.com.

About Diagnostic HYBRIDS
Diagnostic HYBRIDS invents, develops, manufactures, and sells innovative diagnostic and analytical products for a wide range of viral respiratory diseases, herpes virus infections, and other specific viral and thyroid diseases. The company also develops and commercializes innovative and genetically engineered cell-based detection products for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, with an initial focus on pharmacology assays and products that measure drug clearance and anti-viral interventions with drugs and vaccines. The company is certified to ISO 13485 standards and manufactures live continuous and primary cell cultures for clinical diagnostics and pharmacology assays from its headquarters in Athens, OH. Diagnostic HYBRIDS was named one of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2004 and 2005 by Inc. Magazine. The company is a pillar member of BioOhio, a statewide organization of bioscience companies accelerating the bioscience and healthcare economy in Ohio. For more information, please visit www.dhiusa.com.

Christina Dierkes, MS
Coordinator, Marketing Communications & Public Relations
p: 740-589-3300

1Thompson, L.D.R. (2007) Diffuse hyperplasia of the thyroid gland (Graves’ disease). ENT: Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, Vol. 86 Issue 11, p. 666-667.
2Godfrey, J. (2004) Toward Optimal Health: The Experts Discuss Thyroid Disfunction. Journal of Women’s Health, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p. 141-146.
3Gittoes, N.J.L., & Franklyn, J.A. (1998) Hyperthyroidism: Current Treatment Guidelines. Drugs, Vol. 55 Issue 4, P. 543-553
4Brent, G.A. (2008) Graves’ Disease. New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 358, Issue 24, P. 2594-2605.