NEW YORK ─ Synaps Dx, a company developing diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative disorders, said on Tuesday that it has closed a $10 million Series A financing round that included participation from private equity, individual and family investors, and corporate investor funds.
The Rockville, Maryland-based firm, which operates a CLIA-certified laboratory, said it will use the proceeds to scale up production and meet market demand for Discern, its minimally invasive test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and differentiation from other forms of dementia.
According to the firm's website, Discern is an easy-to-administer test that detects AD at the earliest stages of onset by testing for the presence of three undisclosed biomarkers that are unique to the disease. The test requires a small skin sample taken by a certified healthcare provider. In 2018, the company received US Food and Drug Administration breakthrough device designation for the test.
Autopsy-validated clinical data, which takes many years to collect, confirmed that the test has 95 percent sensitivity and specificity for diagnosing AD, Synaps Dx said. The test "reflects 30 years of research at the [National Institutes of Health National Neurologic Institute] to map the molecular pathways that create memory with mechanisms that are conserved across evolution," Daniel Alkon, chief scientific adviser at Synaps Dx, said in a statement. The research demonstrated "that the protein PKC-Epsilon is a synaptic growth master switch for memory formation," he added.