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NIH Awards Decode Health $248K Grant to Detect and Distinguish Progressive Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Decode Health today announced it received a $248,000 one year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create new methods to distinguish relapsing-remitting and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

New NIH grant will build upon Decode Health’s autoimmune diagnostic expertise and data analytics platform

NASHVILLE, TN – [November 1, 2022] Decode Health,  a healthcare AI company that unlocks diagnostic and therapeutic discoveries with the power of data, today announced it received a $248,000 one year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create new methods to distinguish relapsing-remitting and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Healthcare System ecosystem graphicAs part of its research activity for the award, Decode Health will engage its machine learning platform, that integrates genomic and clinical data sources with social determinants of health (SDoH) information to identify novel RNA biomarkers and clinical or SDoH risk factors that can objectively define MS stages. Today, misdiagnosing MS is not uncommon, and distinguishing among primary progressive, secondary progressive and relapsing-remitting forms of MS can be a long, difficult and costly process using current laboratory and imaging studies.

As new therapeutics emerge targeting specific MS subtypes, new diagnostic tools that are capable of distinguishing among these subtypes could assist clinicians as they develop a treatment plan. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) are emerging biomarkers that exhibit a high degree of cell-type and disease specific expression. Decode Health will test the hypothesis that analyzing disease-specific lncRNA expression patterns in primary progressive and secondary progressive MS will provide meaningful clinical information to healthcare providers faced with this diagnostic dilemma.

The cost of managing MS patients is rising and can exceed $50,000 per year. Further, autoimmune diseases, including MS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis cost the U.S. healthcare system over $90 billion annually. An early, accurate diagnosis, combined with early treatment, has significant cost-savings potential, estimated at greater than 20% for these diseases alone. Identification of actionable biomarkers can provide clinicians with additional information for the purposes of diagnosis, prognosis, clinical subtyping and therapeutic selection.

“Decode collaborates with an ecosystem of industry-leading diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies to improve clinical trials and translate biomarker discoveries into new diagnostic tests and drug targets,” says Chase Spurlock, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Decode Health and principal investigator for the study. “This grant is a significant validation of Decode’s RNA studies in multiple sclerosis that leverage machine learning to fuel biomarker discovery.”

Over the last several years, Decode and its predecessor company, IQuity, have received more than $3.75M in federal research grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and National Institute on Aging (NIA). These awards were made following an intensive peer review process through the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, one of the country’s largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization. These resources, combined with private capital, fuel Decode’s ongoing research and development efforts to accelerate precision medicine and improve patient outcomes.

About Decode Health

Decode Health is a healthcare AI company that powers an ecosystem of industry-leading diagnostic, pharmaceutical and technology companies to unlock discoveries with data. Current projects include genomic data creation, RNA diagnostics, and population health analytics. Over the course of a decade, the team leading Decode has built a framework leveraging a variety of advanced machine learning approaches. The company’s flexible, scalable approach layers clinical data with SDoH and non-clinical data to fuel innovation and advance precision medicine. Decode’s data assets, products, and services improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and promote health equity. For more information, visit

About the National Institutes of Health

NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Media Contacts

For Decode Health:

Nikki Cary


Date Posted:

November 1, 2022

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