Zora Biosciences and Mayo Medical Laboratories Collaborate on Plasma Ceramides Testing

Plasma Ceramides are significant predictors of cardiovascular issues in patients with CAD and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. 

ESPOO, Finland — Zora Biosciences Oy, a diagnostics discovery company specializing in cardiovascular disease, and Mayo Medical Laboratories recently signed an agreement to collaborate on a new test for plasma ceramides. Mayo Medical Laboratories is the reference laboratory of Mayo Clinic and offers advanced laboratory testing and pathology services to more than 5,000 health care organizations. The test, which will launch in early summer, is used to predict adverse cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

As part of the agreement, Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology collaborated with Zora Biosciences during test development to ensure proper integration and use of plasma ceramides testing in the Mayo Clinic practice. The test will be available to patients and providers worldwide through Mayo Medical Laboratories, which serves more than 4.5 million patients from 60 countries.

“Zora Biosciences has had access to a variety of patient study populations that have helped to validate ceramides as a test that we hope will improve the evaluation of individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease” says Jeff Meeusen, Ph.D., co-director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory Medicine Group at Mayo Clinic.

“Collaborating with Mayo Clinic is a great opportunity to make our diagnostic discoveries widely available for the benefit of patients and physicians,” says Reini Hurme, Ph.D., CEO of Zora Biosciences Oy. “This collaborative research will address unmet needs in cardiovascular disease assessment.”

About the Plasma Ceramides Test
The test for plasma ceramides is to be used in conjunction with clinical evaluation and patient risk assessment as an aid in predicting risk of adverse cardiovascular events. Risks conferred by ceramides are independent of traditional biomarkers including age, sex, smoking status, and history of CAD. In a study published in 2016 in European Heart Journal, plasma ceramides were found to predict the likelihood of an adverse cardiovascular event within one year in CAD patients. In patients with suspected CAD and/or chronic heart failure, the test can predict the likelihood of an event within three to five years, based on studies published in Canadian Journal of Cardiology and the International Journal of Epidemiology.

“Plasma ceramides are a promising biomarker for the prediction of adverse CV events,” says Allan Jaffe, M.D., consultant and chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Clinical Core Laboratory Services, with a joint appointment in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. “Risk conferred by plasma ceramides appears to be independent of other established and novel biomarkers, and there are preliminary indications that ceramide concentrations can be modified by common lipid-lowering therapies.”

About Zora Biosciences
Zora Biosciences, based in Espoo, Finland, is a diagnostics discovery company specializing in cardiovascular diseases. Zora Biosciences identifies robust markers of disease and develops them into high-throughput, health-economic value-added clinical methods. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.zora.fi.

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.