Method of Analyzing Dicarboxylic Acids

This invention describes a method for the high throughput qualitative and quantitative analysis of dicarboxylic acids, and in particular methylmalonic acid (MMA), which exploits the high specificity of tandem mass spectrometry and selective ionization of dicarboxylic acids. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an important role in formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system. Its deficiency can lead to a wide spectrum of hematologic and neuropsychiatric disorders that can be reversed if the condition is diagnosed early and promptly treated. Diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is typically based on measurement of serum vitamin B12 levels; however, about 50 percent of patients in the early stages of disease have normal B12 levels. A more sensitive method of screening for vitamin B12 deficiency is measurement of methylmalonic acid, a marker that is elevated on early stages of vitamin B12 deficiency, in blood or urine,

More than 20 million Vitamin B12 analyses are performed every year to diagnose and monitor the disease. The disease is prevalent in older adults (>60 years) and as the population ages, this market expected to grow.

Stage of Development
U.S. patent number 6,692,971 has been issued for this invention.
The methods in U.S. patent number can be used together with those of this invention to increase throughput and accuracy of MMA analysis. This technology is currently being used in several clinical reference laboratories and is available for licensing under non-exclusive terms.

Additional Info
Kushnir MM, Komaromy-Hiller G, Shushan B, Urry FM, Roberts WL. (2001) Analysis of dicarboxylic acids by tandem mass spectrometry. High-throughput quantitative measurement of methylmalonic acid in serum, plasma, and urine. Clin Chem. 47:1993-2002.

Inventor(s): Gordon Nelson, Mark Kushnir, Alan Rockwood, Gabor Komaromy Hiller, Bruce Laidlaw

Type of Offer: Licensing

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