Testing of blood-based biomarkers will offer convenient detection and monitoring of disease progression in pre-symptomatic and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
TORONTO, Ontario and CAMBRIDGE, Mass.— July 9, 2020—ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. (TSX: PMN) (OTCQB: ARFXF), a company with unique, core technology to predict novel targets (peptide antigens) on the molecular surface of complex, misfolded proteins, and BC Neuroimmunology Lab (BCNI), have entered into a revenue-sharing joint venture (JV) agreement to develop and offer highly accurate and objective tests for detection, diagnosis and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Significant progress has been made over the past several years to advance a more precise diagnosis of AD. In particular, introduction of the A/T/N (amyloid/tau/neurodegeneration) criteria two years ago offered an unbiased approach for the objective biological diagnosis of AD1. However, the A/T/N diagnostic approach, until recently, required either costly PET and MRI scan assessments or an invasive lumbar puncture to secure cerebrospinal fluid to measure specific biomarkers.
Impressive scientific advances have been made since the introduction of A/T/N, as exemplified by emerging scientific evidence showing that blood levels of two brain-protein biomarkers2,3, NfL (neurofilament light chain) and P-tau181 (phosphorylated tau181), appear to provide an equally precise A/T/N characterization as imaging or CSF measurements, and can thus offer convenient, cost-effective and objective detection and monitoring of the AD process.
“The progress this year in measuring P-tau181 in the blood marks an inflection point in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” stated Eugene Williams, ProMIS Executive Chairman. “We now have blood-based biomarkers that can provide the information necessary to detect Alzheimer’s disease, including pre-symptomatic disease. Measurable Alzheimer’s neuropathology precedes cognitive decline by 15-20 years, and this represents an invaluable window of opportunity for prevention, and prevention begins with detection. ProMIS’ ultimate mission with its partner, BCNI, is to build a portfolio of assays that enables early detection and monitoring of disease progression before symptoms arise.”
The JV/collaboration will first offer existing blood-based assays for NfL and P-tau181. Further assays will be added subsequently, potentially incorporating ProMIS’ proprietary peptide antigens and tests for additional neurodegenerative diseases.
“We know that lifestyle interventions like diet, exercise and mental stimulation can have a significant impact on progression to cognitive decline,” stated Dr. Sharon Cohen, Director of Toronto Memory Program. “What has been missing prior to the recent advent of blood-based biomarkers is a convenient and accurate way to measure the impact of these interventions in pre-symptomatic patients. ProMIS’ exciting work with blood-based biomarkers for the detection and monitoring of AD could potentially contribute to a breakthrough in how we work with our patients to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.”
About BC Neuroimmunology Lab Inc.
BC Neuroimmunology Lab Inc. (BCNI) is a private, full-service clinical neuroimmunology lab located in the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) hospital and has been operational for the past 35 years. BCNI is accredited by both the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and ISO/Diagnostic accreditation program (DAP). BCNI services patients, pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations from all of North America and is the North American reference center for six high-complexity immunoassays. BCNI has extensive experience and expertise in Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR), live and fixed cell-based assays, radioimmunoprecipitation assays, ELISA, immunoblot and immunohistochemistry assays.
About ProMIS Neurosciences
ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company whose unique core technology is the ability to rationally predict the site and shape (conformation) of novel targets known as Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs) on the molecular surface of proteins. In neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s disease, the DSEs are misfolded regions on toxic forms of otherwise normal proteins. In the infectious disease setting, these DSEs represent peptide antigens that can be used as an essential component to create accurate and sensitive serological assays to detect the presence of antibodies that arise in response to a specific infection, such as COVID-19. ProMIS proprietary peptide antigens can also be used to create potential therapeutic antibodies, as well as serve as the basis for development of vaccines. ProMIS is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ProMIS is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PMN, and on the OTCQB Venture Market under the symbol ARFXF.
Visit us at www.promisneurosciences.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. To learn more about diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease, listen to Episode 26 of the podcast, Saving Minds, available at iTunes or on ProMIS Neurosciences’ website.
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