"Detection before disease"

header photo

Platform Technology for Determining Protein Conformation

A Novel Blood Test for Presymptomatic Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases continue to increase without effective diagnosis and treatment solutions. The lack of validated biomarkers prevents a preclinical AD diagnosis. There is no test to diagnose AD at its earliest stages in healthy asymptomatic individuals to determine disease status. Fluid biomarkers, particularly blood-based, could have the capacity to be widely implemented as diagnostic screens. Amyloid-beta (Aβ) oligomers are present in blood and are bound by red blood cells (RBC). The origin of blood Aβ oligomers is unknown; however, their levels are increased in AD patients. Given the accumulated evidence that Aβ oligomers are neurotoxic, correlate with AD symptoms and severity in patient samples, and are present in blood; we are developing a novel early detection blood test based on peptide ligands to be used before any signs of AD in healthy asymptomatic individuals to determine their status and risk for AD.

Our technology, Pronucleon™ peptides, involves custom-synthesized peptides that mimic the misfolding region of proteins such as Aβ.  Pronucleon™ peptides displayed specificity and sensitivity for Aβ oligomers; peptides showed preferential binding to AD RBC as compared to normal; our RBC flow cytometry assay exhibited differentiation between healthy and AD samples.

Our preliminary data sets the stage for an exciting new approach to diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, allowing the medical community, the AD therapeutic community, and the public an opportunity to address this disease before its symptoms appear.