Novel Biomarker for Fibromyalgia

Novel biomarker for difficult to diagnosis disease.Relies on easy to collect patient samples.
  • Novel biomarker for difficult to diagnosis disease.
  • Relies on easy to collect patient samples.


Technology Description

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread physical and psychological symptoms and affects up to 2% of the US adult population. Patients experience widespread pain, chronic fatigue, memory issues, and mental health issues. Fibromyalgia is diagnosed based on reported symptoms using established criteria that focus on widespread pain, fatigue, sleep dysfunction, and cognitive dysfunction. Because there is no diagnostic tool for clinicians to rely on, proper diagnosis and treatment are often delayed. Having a reliable, accurate plasma-based biomarker would greatly improve diagnosis and shorten the time to treatment. Additionally, having a chronic pain biomarker may help evaluate treatment endpoints and limit or reduce the number of patients receiving addictive pain medication.

Inventors at the University of Iowa have discovered a plasma-based biomarker that can be used to diagnose fibromyalgia. Using a metabolomics approach the inventors have discovered a plasma metabolite that is distinctly reduced in fibromyalgia patients compared to healthy controls. This metabolite may be used to accurately and quickly diagnose fibromyalgia pain from other conditions and may also be used to monitor the progression or severity of the disease. Additionally, this metabolite and others that are distinctly altered in fibromyalgia patients, may be used to develop non-addictive therapeutics for the treatment of fibromyalgia-associated pain.

UIRF Case No. 2019-051

Stage of Development

Plasma samples have been analyzed from 59 women (healthy controls and fibromyalgia patients).


  • First biomarker-based fibromyalgia diagnostic tool
  • Clear and distinctly altered metabolite levels in fibromyalgia patients
  • Easy to collect patient samples
  • May also be used as a treatment for fibromyalgia associated pain

Potential Applications:


Additional Information:


Contact Information:

  • Name : Mihaela D. Bojin
  • Title :
  • Department :
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  • Phone : 319-335-2723
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