Reliant Glycosciences, Supported by the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant, Host Events for Patients with IgA Nephropathy Birmingham, AL / December 2023 – In 2022, Reliant Glycosciences, LLC (Reliant) received an Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant for $247,500. This grant is one of the first of its kind in the state of Alabama and provides support for additional work related to a Phase II Award of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Reliant focuses on developing diagnostics and prognostic tools for patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN). IgAN is the most common form of glomerulonephritis in the world and affects more than 150,000 Americans. It is even more prevalent in other countries and regions (Europe, Japan, Singapore, and India). Glomerulonephritis is a form of kidney disease that injures the glomeruli, the filtering units of the kidneys. Several of the Reliant Founders helped to define IgAN as an autoimmune disease: Immune complexes are formed from immunoglobulin A protein lacking some sugars (galactose-deficient IgA) bound by immunoglobulin G antibodies (IgG). These complexes form in the blood and ultimately accumulate in the kidneys causing injury.
With the help of the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant, Reliant has hosted several events for IgAN patients. Each event has enabled Reliant to raise awareness of their assays. Ultimately, Reliant’s assays will improve diagnosis and treatment for IgAN. To organize these events, Reliant partnered with the IgA Nephropathy Foundation. This non-profit organization seeks to improve the lives of patients with IgAN through commitments to research, public education, and patient service. The most recent event in July, called SPARK, allowed Reliant to connect with over 250 patients, caregivers, and family members.
Reliant has developed two assays for IgAN-specific biomarkers. In June, Reliant announced the launch of “The GalD Assay” for release by the end of 2023 as a research tool for the measurement of blood levels of galactose-deficient IgA1. The second assay measures blood levels of the IgG antibody that binds to galactose-deficient IgA1; it is scheduled for release in 2024.
With the help of the regional events for IgAN patients, the SBIR Phases I and II, consultations with key opinion leaders in the field, the IgA Nephropathy Foundation, and the Innovate Alabama Supplement Grant Program, Reliant has established their footprint in the Birmingham biotech sector.
Dr. Matthew Renfrow, Reliant Co-Founder, states, “We are proud to be a true homegrown startup that is having an impact worldwide for patients with IgA nephropathy.”
To learn more about Innovate Alabama, visit the website at: https://innovatealabama.org/
To learn more about Reliant Glycosciences, visit the website at: https://www.reliantglycosciences.com/
To learn more about the IgA Nephropathy Foundation, visit the website at: https://igan.org/
Written by: Tatum Street, MB