Alzheimer’s Disease has long been recognized as a growing diagnostic and therapeutic challenge, with current medical detection methods limited to invasive, expensive, and unreliable tests that are unable to catch Alzheimer’s early enough to help doctors engage in preventive therapy.
A key obstacle to early and predictive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is the fact that no commercially-available in vivo biomarker for the disease exists today. With an increasing patient population, as well as a growing pipeline of Alzheimer’s therapies currently under development by major pharma companies, there is a large unmet need for effective predictive diagnostics and preventive intervention enablers, as well as for accurate tools for measuring the efficacy of new drugs in development.
To meet these emerging needs, Cognoptix was co-founded by Dr. Lee Goldstein and Dr. Leo Chylack of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, on the basis of a new and promising biomarker for the detection of beta amyloid proteins responsible for the formation of plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.
Drs. Chylack and Goldstein and their research team discovered that they could detect beta amyloid aggregates in the lens of the eye and that those proteins could be measured and monitored with non-invasive tools, such as existing laser eye scanning technologies. Further research determined that suspect beta amyloid proteins could be detected in the eye prior to buildup of toxic plaques in the brains of genetically engineered Alzheimer’s mice. Cognoptix is currently developing combined optical scanning devices and diagnostic agents based on these discoveries for clinical, commercial and academic research use. The company is actively forming and seeking new strategic alliances with pharma partners and academic institutes, while preparing its diagnostic platform for clinical use.