ObvioHealth, a leading virtual research organisation (VRO), has announced its recently inked agreement with A*STAR Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) to help facilitate the development of novel biomarkers.
With the collaboration, both companies are committed to validating and rolling out more sensitive and viable instruments to collect and measure health outcomes.
The partnership is expected to help researchers gather in-depth knowledge of disease mechanisms while also offering a way of enhanced health management through the earlier diagnosis of a disease and the delivery of safer and more effective therapeutics.
“The proliferation of technology to capture health data has incentivized us to think more strategically about outcomes and how to measure them in new, more accurate ways,” said Craig Gravina, Chief Technology Officer at ObvioHealth. “Many people suffer from health conditions that are not sufficiently severe to be diagnosed using current methods and are therefore not eligible for interventions. We are pleased to collaborate with A*STAR’s SICS to develop and validate more sensitive instruments that can bring relief to these populations.”
The initial phase of the project to be executed under the partnership will include investigating subclinical symptomatology of mood disturbance among the general population. Subclinical mood disturbance is a highly prevalent mental health condition that increases the incidence of the onset of major mood issues, such as major depressive disorder (MDD).
That said, mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder, are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions, affecting millions of people worldwide. In the USA, nearly 21.4% of adults suffer from any mood disorder at some point in their lives.
Despite being one of the most severe and debilitating psychiatric conditions, the research to break down the specific neurobiology underlying these disorders is still underway.
Existing diagnostic techniques for mood disturbances often result in a delay until the correct diagnosis, exacerbating the challenges and imposing substantial financial and medical burdens.
That said, researchers have unanimously underscored developing novel digital biomarkers specific to each disorder as the most viable way of combating these mood disturbances. Developing and commercialising a novel digital biomarker-based aid is poised to facilitate early and accurate diagnosis of subclinical mood disorders in patients while helping develop effective psychiatric therapeutics to treat them. As a result, the incidence of MDD among the subclinical depression population will be minimised.
Both ObvioHealth and A*STAR are committed to determining symptoms of subclinical mood disturbance, stress, and anxiety that don’t meet the diagnostic criteria of depression. Under the partnership, ObvioHealth will be responsible for providing scientific input into the study design.
To ensure efficient data capture and management, the study team will leverage ObvioGo, ObvioHealth’s next-generation DCT platform. Specially engineered to collect, integrate, and analyse multi-source data, ObvioGo helps clinical study teams generate stronger therapeutic evidence.
“Mood disturbances and feelings of stress are prevalent in today’s society. These impact not only the quality of life but may also contribute to other health issues such as cardiovascular, immunological, and gastrointestinal issues, and may ultimately affect our economic and societal potential. We hope to detect the pattern and severity of symptoms that define these conditions, with the ultimate goal of offering better research options to identify people at risk and evaluate potential treatments,” says Professor Jeroen Schmitt, Senior Principal Investigator at A*STAR’s SICS.
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