15 November 2022
Current tests used to diagnose Alzheimer’s in its early stages, when intervention offers the most hope, have limited use due to their costs and reliability.
This approach identifies disease specific immune deficits that we believe are associated with the onset of the disease.
A low cost, practical screening tool needs to be developed.
NeuroQuest, a company focused on the discovery of blood-based immune biomarkers in pre-clinical stage Alzheimer’s, announced that together with the Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study (AIBL), it has completed a clinical study demonstrating that specific immune deficits that are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease may be identified. The results of the clinical study were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association (“Alzheimer’s & Dementia”).
Worldwide, approximately 50 million people have Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. Despite intense efforts by the medical community, current tests used to diagnose Alzheimer’s in its early stages — when intervention offers the most hope — have limited use due to their costs and reliability.
Newly developed disease modifying treatments for Alzheimer’s disease appear to be especially effective in the early stages of clinical disease. Therefore, to identify patients who will benefit from those treatments, a process of routine screening will be required. Given the high cost and burden of evaluating patients using imaging studies, a low cost, practical screening tool needs to be developed. The study presents information on specific biomarkers that can become a low cost, practical, blood-based screening tool with 95% sensitivity and 83% specificity to identify subjects who have Beta Amyloid (“Ab”) plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in their brains.
The search for specific biomarkers is based on the general idea that Alzheimer’s disease is the result of two parallel processes, one that triggers the development of specific lesions in the brain (Ab plaques and Tau tangles) and an immune deficit that allows for these lesions to develop. We believe we have identified a set of immune deficits that are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The research conducted reports that that the identification of these immune changes is strongly associated with the presence of the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other measurements that predict the presence of Alzheimer’s disease and therefore can be used as biomarkers for the disease.
Although other potential screening tests are available or are being developed, they target the direct presence of proteins of the brain lesions that characterize Alzheimer’s disease in the blood. Our approach identifies disease specific immune deficits that we believe are associated with the onset of the disease and have the potential not only to identify potential subjects, but to open new avenues for treatment.
NeuroQuest’s technology is based on the principles of protective autoimmunity and nearly 20 years of award-winning research led by Professor Michal Schwartz, a professor of Neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
These findings are the result of the collaboration between the Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study (AIBL) conducted at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Australia and NeuroQuest.
This news was also published in BioWorld.
We are thrilled at the results of this study, which lends hope to finding new treatment breakthroughs for this disease which affects so many families worldwide.
NeuroQuest’s acting CEO Haim Brosh
The availability of these promising biomarkers could be a critical piece to identify individuals that could benefit from disease-modifying treatments. This is especially significant since this simple blood test could be incorporated into routine screening practices in primary care.
Professor Jacobo Mintzer, MD, MBA, Medical University of South Carolina
These deficits are found in the biological activity of ’innate phagocytosis’, which is one of the fundamental functions for recognition and engulfment of debris. Such deficits reduce our capability in clearance of harmful protein aggregates such as A, which is known to be the major proximal cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Our findings are an example of new biomarkers and treatments based on ’innate phagocytosis’ system that are currently being developed.
Dr Ben Gu, Florey Institute
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