Axial Biotech Aims to Predict Scoliosis Progression With DNA Test

spinal-xrayMany of us were tested for scoliosis as children, and for a good reason: Scoliosis, or abnormal curvature of the spine, usually sets in between ages 10 to 15. Scoliosis affects an estimated 6 million people in the United States, according to the National Scoliosis Foundation. At an age when children are both physically active and vulnerable to self-esteem issues, the pain and limited activity caused by scoliosis can be a severe blow to their quality of life. Instead of playing sports or hanging around the mall after school, the child may be stuffed into a back brace or taken to a surgeon.

About 80 percent of scoliosis cases are classified as idiopathic, or without cause. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis tends to run in families, but determining which patients will develop severe spinal curvature is an inexact science. Patients have to be monitored closely throughout adolescence, which can be costly and stressful for patients and their families. There is an unmet need for an evidence-based standard to aid physicians in predicting the progression of scoliosis.

One company, Axial Biotech, has developed the first prognostic test for scoliosis. The ScoliScore AIS Prognostic Test is a multi-gene DNA test designed to predict the likelihood of spinal curve progression in patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. This objective standard can help physicians formulate a personalized treatment plan for the patient. The test became commercially available in September 2009.

Axial Biotech, which specializes in personalized spine care through the development of molecular diagnostics, is also developing tests for degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and other spinal conditions. The company is currently testing a degenerative disc disease prognostic test, which the company expects to become commercially available in 2010.

Axial Biotech is one of many companies that will be presenting at the OneMedForum 2010 New York, which takes place June 29-30 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. For a current list of presenters, please visit

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