Potentially Life-Saving Diagnostic for Unruptured Brain Aneurysms

InteliSpark client, Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc., secures $750,000 for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for phase II of their project to test and validate a new blood-based diagnostic that detects unruptured brain aneurysms in patients.

About six million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Approximately 30,000 people suffer from a ruptured brain aneurysm annually, 50% of which are fatal. Many show no symptoms until it is too late. The lack of adequate diagnoses of unruptured aneurysms puts these individuals in a potentially dangerous situation. Additionally, the treatment costs are significantly more for ruptured than unruptured aneurysms.

Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc. will build upon the success of phase I of their project and validate and test a new diagnostic. In phase I, researchers discovered that a panel of about 50 circulating RNAs (ribonucleic acid) isolated from blood samples predicted unruptured brain aneurysms with over 90% accuracy. In phase II, researchers will utilize blood samples from 400 individuals with and without brain aneurysms across 3 clinical centers to test the accuracy of their new diagnostic. 

Drs. Vincent Tutino and Hui Meng, CEO and CMO respectively, at Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc., are utilizing technology they developed at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Both of their academic training and research in neurovascular diseases and intracranial aneurysms led them to develop this desperately needed diagnostic screening tool and to form the startup Neurovascular Diagnostics, Inc.

This new diagnostic has the potential to provide millions of Americans access to affordable screening, which may save many lives and prevent the permanent neurological deficits that survivors from ruptured brain aneurysms experience daily.