Molecular Stethoscope Inc., a San Diego firm working on blood-based early detection and disease monitoring tests, announced Monday that it has formed collaborations with 23 academic and medical institutions nationwide.

The firm, founded by ex-Illumina executive Tina Nova, has developed proprietary technology that uses circulating cell-free RNA in blood to monitor organ damage. This approach provides a real-time "snapshot" of organ health using RNA to represent the patient's actual and immediate physical and biochemical characteristics. This allows for a more dynamic assessment of healthy versus diseased states, according to a news release from the company.

"Molecular Stethoscope's collaborations will allow us to gain valuable information about disease states through analysis of blood from a wide spectrum of disease stages and conditions," said Nova, president and CEO of Molecular Stethoscope, in a statement. Nova previously served at Illumina as senior vice president and manager of the company’s oncology business.

As part of the research collaborations, the company has received 700 plasma and serum patient samples from its collaborators to continue validation of its tests. Samples from patients with Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease will be used to provide insights into these diseases.