Newswise — SACRAMENTO – NeuroVision Imaging Inc. announced it has received an additional investment from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) – the foundation’s second round of funding to Neurovision this year – to hasten development of a novel blood-based lab test to provide detection and measurement of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias before clinical onset.
The ability to measure multiple dementia-related biomarkers in the blood and correlate them with disease status and prognosis could make diagnostic testing more practical, less invasive and less costly. Not only would this give researchers and clinicians a better understanding of disease progression, it could improve clinical trials and the search for new treatments by providing a relatively quick and easy way to accurately monitor patients’ responses to therapy.
“Our best chance at stopping this disease in its tracks is by advancing the most promising research across the globe. Development of a blood test for biomarker detection and monitoring could be a major step in this process,” said Howard Fillit, M.D., Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer at the ADDF. The organization is focused on rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s, providing funding that enables scientists to pursue pioneering ideas that might otherwise go unexplored.
ADDF’s investment will support NeuroVision’s work to commercialize an “ultra-multiplex assay” to measure multiple blood biomarkers that are associated with dementia development. Additionally, the project will further Neurovision’s work on a proprietary blood assay that appears to mirror beta-amyloid protein load in the brain. Amyloid begins to accumulate in the brain about 20 years before Alzheimer’s symptoms are seen.
“A few ultrasensitive technologies exist that can detect the exceptionally low concentrations of Alzheimer’s disease core biomarkers in blood, but the platforms are not readily scalable to meet commercial demands and they’re difficult to customize for multiplex assays,” said Steven R. Verdooner, CEO and Co-Founder of NeuroVision. “Neurovision has exclusive rights to technology combining ultrasensitivity, multiplexing capacity, and ease of use. The result is an exceptionally robust tool.”
Leyla Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., D(ABMLI), Vice President of Biomarker Development at NeuroVision, is leading the company’s biomarker studies with Hugo Vanderstichele, Ph.D., Global Head of Biomarker Development.
Anderson, board-certified in medical laboratory immunology, said the type of technology NeuroVision is using – bringing together traditional immunoassay principles with integrated circuit design and nanofabrication – is moving research-level lab studies into clinical settings. With the system’s highly responsive nanosensor, once labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, disease biomarkers can be immediately detected in real time.
“These studies are designed to optimize and then validate each of our prototype assays – individually and combined – to predict brain amyloid in subjects ranging from cognitively normal to those with mild cognitive impairment to those with Alzheimer’s disease,” Anderson said. “We hope the results will provide powerful, easy-to-access tools that will boost Alzheimer’s research and improve the way clinicians and patients manage the disease. We anticipate that these tests will be commercially available in 2022.”
By the time Alzheimer’s symptoms are seen, severe brain changes have already taken place. NeuroVision is focused on delivering diagnostic tests and biomarkers for early detection and monitoring.
The ADDF’s Diagnostics Accelerator (DxA), created in July 2018, is a partnership of funders with commitments totaling nearly $50 million over three years. Partners include ADDF Co-Founder Leonard A. Lauder, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, among others. The DxA’s aim is to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
This initiative is dedicated to accelerating the development of affordable and accessible biomarkers to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and advance the clinical development of more targeted treatments. Through translational research awards and access to consulting support from industry experts, this initiative will challenge, assist and fund the research community in both academia and industry to develop novel peripheral and digital biomarkers.
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NeuroVision (neurovision.com) was formed in 2010 and is headquartered in Sacramento, California. The company is dedicated to developing and delivering diagnostic solutions for neurodegenerative and ophthalmological diseases. The company’s team has extensive experience in fluid biomarkers, imaging, and data science.
Founded in 1998 by Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer's, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded more than $168 million to fund over 650 Alzheimer's drug discovery and biomarker programs and clinical trials in 19 countries. To learn more, please visit: http://www.alzdiscovery.org/.