Lysozyme as a biomarker in blood, saliva and other secretions, for Niemann Pick Type C disease

Tech ID: 11-051

Inventor: Kasturi Haldar

Date Added: September 25, 2020


A fast diagnosis method utilizing biomarkers

Technology Summary

Niemann Pick Type C (NPC) disease is a neurological disorder that is difficult to diagnose due to the variability of the age of onset and specific symptoms. Effective treatment depends on early diagnosis. Current tests use skin biopsies and genetic sequencing which takes 4-5 years for a definitive diagnosis. Many physicians are unfamiliar with NPC and commonly mistake the symptoms for more common diseases. In addition to these problems, there is no sufficient way to chart the progress of the disease.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have discovered potential biomarkers, lysozymes and cathepsin S, to track the progression of the NPC. Lysozymes, which are aberrantly expressed in plasma and other body fluids that accumulate with developing disease have been identified as the lead biomarker for NPC. However, high lysozyme levels in plasma could be signs of liver disease and are not exclusively signs of progressive regeneration. So, researchers created a way to distinguish the portion of lysozymes originating in the liver from the portion originating in the brain by incorporating another biomarker, cathepsin S. This method can be used to determine the extent of neurodegeneration, measure the efficacy of therapeutic agents in patients with this disorder, and chart the progression of the disease.

Market Advantages

  • Cost-effective and straightforward method
  • Faster and more definitive diagnosis
  • Allows to track progression of disease


  • NPC diagnostic
  • Early screening tool for neurodegenerative diseases

Technology Readiness Level

TRL 3 – Experimental Proof of Concept

Intellectual Property Status

US Patent 10,597,696


Richard Cox