03
July
2023
|
17:08
Europe/London

University spinout signs agreement on Alzheimer's disease biomarkers

PharmaKure, a University of Manchester spinout company specialising in companion diagnostics for the treatment of neurological diseases, has launched a collaboration wth with  APIS Assay Technologies Ltd, a company with scientific expertise in biomarker translation, molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics.

The agreement will progress a development project for the use of Clickmers for highly selective detection of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Clickmers are single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides modified with Nobel prize-winning Click chemistry.

Under the terms of the collaboration, APIS and PharmaKure will advance the development of specific Clickmers targeting biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology and their clinical validation for diagnostic purposes. Certain blood biomarkers of amyloid-b (Total, Ab40 and Ab42), aggregated α-synuclein, aggregated Tau (Total and pTAU (181)), NFL and DJ-1 have been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease pathology. The Clickmer technology will be used to sensitively and accurately quantify the levels of these biomarkers in blood.

‘We are excited to collaborate with APIS on the possibility of using Clickmers for advancing increased binding affinity towards Alzheimer's biomarkers such as amyloid-b,’ said Dr Farid Khan, CEO at PharmaKure.  “This is one of the steps to bring to the market effective disease-modifying therapeutics in AD by combining our lead drug candidate PK051 with an early detection of disease-related biomarker assays”.

‘We are very excited to be collaborating with the PharmaKure team. It is a fantastic opportunity to support the development of novel diagnostic tests that detect biomarkers associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s’ said Dr Helen Fielder, Head of Technology at APIS. “Using APIS’ novel Clickmer technology, we aim to deliver highly specific and high affinity detection of Alzheimer’s biomarkers, to support earlier detection of the disease. Earlier detection alongside PharmaKure’s lead drug candidate PK051 has the potential to significantly improve the treatment of AD patients”.

Our goal is to accurately identify patients that are starting on the road to Alzheimer’s Disease, even before they have any symptoms. The Clickmer Systems technology will allow us to measure the levels of the protein forms that trigger the onset of the disease
 

Professor Andrew Doig

“Our goal is to accurately identify patients that are starting on the road to Alzheimer’s Disease, even before they have any symptoms. The Clickmer Systems technology will allow us to measure the levels of the protein forms that trigger the onset of the disease’ said Professor Andrew Doig from The University of Manchester, Head of Research and Development at PharmaKure. “A combination of new drugs and diagnostics will finally allow us to find the effective treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease that we so desperately need.”

Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal illness that causes progressive decline in memory and other aspects of cognition. Dementia due to Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. Every 3 seconds someone in the world develops dementia. 850,000 (UK) and 44 million (worldwide) are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia related illnesses. In 2020, the total cost of cost of care for people with dementia in the UK is £34.7 billion. Globally, the cost was $360 billion and by 2050 the costs could be a $1 trillion (source Alzheimer’s Research UK).  In the US alone, there was an increase of 8 million new caregivers from 2015 to 2020. The current annual societal and economic cost of dementia is estimated as $1 trillion, an amount that is expected to double by 2030 unless we find a way to slow the disease.

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