University Spinout Enters Agreement for Advancement in Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

PharmaKure, a company that originated from the University of Manchester and specializes in companion diagnostics for neurological diseases, has recently announced a collaborative partnership with APIS Assay Technologies Ltd. APIS is known for its scientific expertise in biomarker translation, molecular diagnostics, and bioinformatics.

The collaboration aims to advance a development project focused on utilizing Clickmers, which are single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides modified with Nobel prize-winning Click chemistry, for the selective detection of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Specifically, the project aims to develop specific Clickmers that target biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology and validate their clinical use for diagnostic purposes. Biomarkers such as amyloid-b (Total, Ab40, and Ab42), aggregated α-synuclein, aggregated Tau (Total and pTAU (181)), NFL, and DJ-1 have been identified as associated with Alzheimer's disease pathology. The Clickmer technology will be employed to accurately quantify the levels of these biomarkers in blood samples.

Dr. Farid Khan, CEO of PharmaKure, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration and its potential to utilize Clickmers to enhance binding affinity towards Alzheimer's biomarkers like amyloid-b. The goal is to combine this technology with their lead drug candidate PK051 for early detection of disease-related biomarkers and bring effective disease-modifying therapeutics for AD to the market.

Dr. Helen Fielder, Head of Technology at APIS, also expressed excitement about the collaboration, highlighting the opportunity to develop novel diagnostic tests that detect biomarkers associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. Utilizing APIS' Clickmer technology, the aim is to achieve highly specific and high-affinity detection of Alzheimer's biomarkers, enabling earlier disease detection. The collaboration with PharmaKure's lead drug candidate PK051 holds significant potential for improving the treatment of AD patients by combining early detection with effective therapeutics.

"Our aim is to accurately identify individuals who are in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, even before any symptoms manifest. The Clickmer Systems technology will enable us to measure the levels of protein forms that trigger the onset of the disease," stated Professor Andrew Doig, Head of Research and Development at PharmaKure and affiliated with The University of Manchester. "By combining new drugs and diagnostic tools, we can finally discover effective treatments for Alzheimer's Disease, addressing the urgent need in this field."

Alzheimer's Disease is a progressive and fatal illness that leads to a decline in memory and cognitive abilities. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases. Distressingly, a new case of dementia develops in the world every three seconds. Currently, there are approximately 850,000 individuals affected by Alzheimer's or related dementias in the UK, and the global figure stands at 44 million. In 2020, the UK spent £34.7 billion on caring for people with dementia, while globally, the cost reached $360 billion. According to Alzheimer's Research UK, these costs could rise to $1 trillion by 2050. The number of caregivers in the US increased by 8 million between 2015 and 2020. The current societal and economic cost of dementia is estimated at $1 trillion, and without effective interventions, this is expected to double by 2030.





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