NEW YORK – Biopharma company Alzheon announced on Tuesday that it has entered a collaboration and license agreement with the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, or IOCB, to develop a test for Alzheimer's disease.
The clinical assay will measure neurotoxic beta amyloid oligomers in human cerebrospinal fluid and will be sensitive "to the full spectrum of soluble oligomer species in CSF and will be able to quantify the amyloid oligomer burden in the brain," Framingham, Massachusetts-based Alzheon said in a statement. The test will address the limitations of current tests to detect amyloid oligomers that do not distinguish individual species of amyloid oligomers, the company added.
Under the agreement, IOCB will use Alzheon's analytical chemistry technology to develop the test and Alzheon will commercialize it. Alzheon will provide biospecimens from Alzheimer's patients, including samples from patients treated with its ALZ-801 drug. Soluble amyloid oligomers are "directly neurotoxic upstream drivers of AD pathology," Alzheon said.
"Working with IOCB, we will apply state-of-the-art analytical chemistry technologies to develop an assay that can provide a key missing piece of the puzzle — detecting and measuring neurotoxic amyloid oligomers, the underlying ‘fire in the brain’ that drives Alzheimer’s pathology," Martin Tolar, Alzheon's founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Such a tool is not only valuable as a diagnostic for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, but also offers a way to monitor response of patients to therapy."
“Beyond its diagnostic and theragnostic potential, this assay will provide researchers and clinicians with the ability to profile anti-amyloid antibodies and other Alzheimer’s drugs with different selectivity for amyloid oligomers relative to fibrils and plaque, which can improve therapeutic paradigms for patients,” added Martin Fusek, the vice director for strategic development at IOCB.
Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.