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GEN News Highlights : Dec 4, 2006

Merck will Evaluate Neuroptix’ Laser Eye Scanning Alzheimer's Diagnostics

Tool was able to detect beta amyloid surrogate biomarker in preclinical studies.

Merck & Co. will evaluate Neuroptix' Alzheimer’s diagnostic tool in preclinical models of the disease and clinical trial monitoring of potential new drugs. The Neuroptix™ QEL laser eye scanning device detected Alzheimer's-related amyloid protein aggregates in the lens of the eye in preclinical studies in mice. The amyloid protein aggregates are a surrogate biomarker of beta amyloid in the brain.

"Our goal is to help bring the QEL system closer to becoming a fast, inexpensive, and reliable screening test for Alzheimer's that can be easily administered in a general practitioner's office with accurate results,” says Paul Hartung, president and CEO of Neuroptix.

Under the agreement, Neuroptix will receive an upfront payment, annual technology access fees, and milestone payments. Neuroptix will also receive payments for instruments, diagnostic agents, and services. Merck receives a nonexclusive license to use Neuroptix' technology for preclinical and clinical research purposes.