Clear Lake man patents method for distinguishing Irritable Bowel Syndrome from more serious diseases
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disease that affects many Americans with symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea.
Fortunately, it is also fairly easy to treat without costly medical procedures. But, the symptoms of IBS can also indicate more serious problems.
Earlier this month, a computer scientist from the Clear Lake area of Houston received a U.S. patent for a method he and a research partner developed that should make it easier for physicians to distinguish between IBS and diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
In the patent, the inventors claim that the "biomarkers" the team discovered can more accurately diagnose these diseases and prevent the need for a colonoscopy.
The inventors credited in the patent are Cole Harris of the Clear Lake area of Houston and John Alsobrook of Corrales, New Mexico. The patent was originally filed on March 13, 2009, and was officially approved on Feb. 1 of this year. Its official number is 7,879,553. The inventors were represented by McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, an intellectual property law firm with offices in Chicago and Washington state.
The patent is owned by Exagen Diagnostics Inc., a company co-founded by Harris. He and Alsobrook currently serve as vice presidents of the Albuquerque-based company. Diagnostic tools based on the technology described in its patent features prominently on the company's website, www.exagen.com.
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