Blood Bio-markers for Early Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Our miRNA biomarkers reduce false negatives in early phase of RA patients


  • Research result from more comprehensive miRNA screening
  • Reducing false negative cases on early RA patients diagnosis by conventional bio-markers

Background and Technology

Rheumatoid factors (RFs) and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) are known as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) bio-markers.  Although ACPAs have high sensitivity and specificity for RA diagnosis and enable diagnosis in early phase of RA patients, it is said that 30% of total early RA patients result in false negatives.
We analyzed miRNAs related to RA in silico by using genome-wide association study (GWAS) signals on miRNA–target gene networks (MIGWAS), and performed differentially expressed miRNA analysis between RA patients and healthy controls.  We identified novel bio-marker miRNAs (e.g.hsa-miR-762) by integrating differentially expressed miRNAs with MIGWAS results.
Our bio-markers are in dependent from the conventional RA bio-markers. Combination of these bio-markers enable high accurate RA diagnosis reducing false negatives in early RA.


  •  Lower right figure: ROC curve analysis for diagnosis in early RA patients (n=30) and healthy control (n=33) indicated sensitivity 70%, specificity 70%
  • lower left figure: In early RA patients whose ACPAs are negative (n=14) , indicated sensitivity 50%, specificity 94%


  • International Patent Application(PCT/JP2019/03464)
  • Sakaue, et al. Nucleic Acids Res. (2018) ;46(22):11898-11909


Prof. Yukinori Okada (Statistical Genetics, Department of Genome Biology, Osaka University)

Human genome data for study of disease pathology and drug discovery, statistical genetics, the field using statistical methods to connect genome data with phenotypes, has grown considerably in recent years due to the excessive genomic data gained from next generation sequencers.


We are looking for a company to further develop and commercialize this technology.  We also conduct collaboration research by using our laboratory facilities.


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