D-tek s.a. is a private Belgian biotechnology company created in 1995 in Mons (40 km from Brussels and less than 1h20 from Paris).
The company is located in 1.200 square meters facilities in the Scientific Park Initialis of Mons. The company is specialized in the development and manufacturing of diagnostic kits for human autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are due to inappropriate immune response against the organism’s own antigens (autoantigens), leading to chronic inflammation, tissue destruction and/or dysfunction. Generally unknown by the public and perceived as uncommon, they represent nevertheless the third cause of clinical mortality in industrialized countries.
Doctors generally distinguish systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases, depending if they affect multiple organs or only one organ specifically. The etiology of autoimmune diseases is clearly multifactorial. Both intrinsic factors (e.g. genetics, hormones, age) and environmental factors (e.g. infections, diet, drugs, and environmental chemicals) may contribute to the induction, development and progression of autoimmune diseases.
According to the estimation of the World Health Organization, they affect up to 6 % of the global population. Scientists and doctors agree that more than 60 diseases have a proven or strongly suspected autoimmune cause. Moreover, there is epidemiological evidence of increasing prevalence of certain autoimmune diseases, which cannot be attributed to focus on or improvement of the diagnosis alone.
As the autoimmune diseases are generally incurable and require a lifelong treatment they have a strong impact on public health cost. Their accurate diagnosis has therefore become of major importance these last decades. All the diagnosis techniques available on the market are based on the ability to detect the presence of autoantibodies in the patient’s serum.