Circular RNA biomarkers for heart failure diagnostics

Summary of the technology

Circular RNAs are a class of noncoding RNAs covalently closed by a back spicing event, making them protected from degradation by exonuclease. They are tissue- and disease-specific and are detectable in the blood. These properties confer circRNAs with valuable potential as disease biomarkers for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
The Cardiovascular Research team of the Luxembourg Institute of Health leaded by Dr Yvan Devaux has discovered and patented hundreds of circRNAs detectable in the blood and associated with cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure. Heart failure affects more than half of the population over 65 and represents an enormous financial burden to the society. Circular RNAs can be measured in a highly specific manner using sequencing, methods based on probe hybridization, or quantitative PCR with divergent primers. They have potential to be used in diagnostics tests, companion diagnostics or, being involved in disease development and progression, as therapeutic targets.

Luxembourg Institute of Health

Details of the Technology Offer


Circular RNAs present the following advantages:

  • Detectable in the blood
  • Easily and accurately measurable
  • Cost-effective measurement
  • High potential for development of a new class of biomarkers and/or drugs
  • Tissue and disease specificity
  • Applicable to the clinics
  • Target unmet clinical needs with high prevalence and economic burden (e.g. heart failure)
  • Usable as diagnostics tests, companion diagnostics and/or therapeutic targets.


The methodology to measure circRNAs in blood samples of patients as well as their potential to constitute a new class of biomarkers and therapeutic targets have been extensively validated and published by the LIH inventors (PMID: 27609688;28345158; 29159270; 30159434; 31986093). The association between circRNAs and heart failure has been validated in two independent cohorts in Luxembourg and Germany totalizing more than 600 patients (PMID:27609688). In particular, one circRNA named MICRA (Myocardial Infarction-associated Circular RnA) improved risk classification after myocardial infarction, supporting the added value of this novel biomarker in future prognostication strategies (PMID 29159270). The use of circRNAs to predict cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure has been protected in two patents from LIH inventors (WO2017046203; WO2018220185).

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :WO 2018/220185
  • Granted Patent
  • Patent application number :WO2017046203

Related Keywords

  • Medical Health related
  • Diagnostic
  • Diagnostic services
  • Therapeutic

About Luxembourg Institute of Health

The Luxembourg Institute of Health is a public biomedical research organisation. Striving for excellence, its researchers, by their creativity, enthusiasm and commitment, generate knowledge on disease mechanisms and contribute to the development of new diagnostics, innovative therapies and clinical applications that impact the healthcare of Luxembourgish and European citizens. The activities of the Luxembourg Institute of Health are developed within the following research topics: Oncology, Infection and Immunity, Population Health.

At the forefront of biomedical sciences, the Luxembourg Institute of Health is deeply involved in implementing national and international research programs in personalized medicine. It acts as a catalyst for promoting research collaborations with healthcare providers, hospitals and other public and private biomedical organisations. To create economic and societal value, it purposes the transfer of its scientific discoveries and technological developments. As the first supplier of public health information in Luxembourg, it also enables public authorities to make decisions based on scientific data and to communicate validated data to international institutions.

The Luxembourg Institute of Health hosts a large number of trainees, Master students and PhD candidates, affiliated to the University of Luxembourg or to foreign partner universities, as well as postdoctoral scientists specialising themselves in a given research domain. Modern infrastructure, state-of-the-art technologies and a stimulating work environment, guaranteeing quality supervision and training, are provided to these young scientists starting their career.


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