Non-Invasive Screening for Endometriosis

Tech ID:

This invention is a diagnostic for endometriosis based on a screening method which uses menstrual samples to perform single-cell analysis of gene expression by PCR. This diagnostic test uses a unique panel of genes whose expression patterns can be used to distinguish between not only endometriosis positive and endometriosis negative samples, but also between clinical stages of endometriosis, i.e. stages I-IV.



Endometriosis is a disease characterized by aberrant growth of the endometrium tissue on female reproductive structures outside of the uterus. This aberrant endometrium continues to cycle in the same way as the lining inside the uterus – thickening, breaking down and bleeding each month. It can cause extreme pain, inflammation and scar tissue in the pelvic cavity, and possible infertility.


The only available method to definitively diagnose endometriosis is histological assessment of biopsied tissue obtained during laparoscopic examination of the pelvic cavity; this method is invasive, requires anesthesia, and typically costs between $1,700 and $5,000 per patient. Furthermore, direct healthcare costs due to endometriosis are as high as $2,800 per patient per year.


There are over 170,000 cases of endometriosis diagnosed each year, and as many as 4.5 million women chronically afflicted with the disease in the US alone. However, it is likely that these incidence rates are underestimated due to both the invasiveness of the diagnostic procedure and the overlap of endometriosis symptoms with other diseases of the abdomen. Estimated overall annual costs associated with endometriosis total between $18-22 billion in the US.


Commercial Applications & Advantages:

  • Non-invasive sample collection, obtained in doctor’s office
  • Quick laboratory assessment
  • Does not require anesthesia
  • Safer for patient
  • Low cost
  • Easier and cheaper testing results in increased diagnoses
Women's Health
For information contact:
Sean Thompson
Sr. Licensing Associate
(210) 567-1630
Nameer Kirma
Bruce Nicholson
Patent Information:

United States - Provisional

Patent No.

Status: Pending