Firm will develop a test to predict which people with mild cognitive impairment are at risk of getting the disease.

DiaGenic obtained an option from Merz Pharmaceuticals to access biomarkers for mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The biomarkers are intended to be used to identify patients with MCI who are prone to converting to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for inclusion into Merz’ clinical trial programs. Under the terms of the deal, Merz will also receive an option for nonexclusive rights to further biomarkers.

“DiaGenic has already indentified biomarkers for AD, referenced in our CE-marked ADtect® test (96-gene signature), which we plan to validate on the MCI cohort for use in patient stratification by Merz,” says CEO of DiaGenic, Erik Christensen, M.D., Ph.D. “We will also have the option to optimize the ADtect signature if required.

“We envisage a substantial interest from leading pharma companies developing AD drugs for this biomarker,” Dr. Christensen continues. “All MCI trials so far have failed, as patient inclusion has been too broad. What pharma is really searching for are biomarkers that identify which MCI patients will develop AD.

“We have so far seen a high conversion rate  in our ongoing studies,” according to Dr. Christensen. “The agreement with Merz will enable us to accelerate our ongoing multicenter study by recruiting additional sites.” One of the new sites will be at University of California, Davis.

Related News

Researchers Develop Standard of Testing for Alzheimer’s Biomarkers (Mar. 18, 2009)
TheraGenetics and King’s College London to Join Consortium for Alzheimer’s Biomarker Discovery (Sep. 10, 2008)
Satoris Taps Mayo Clinic to Validate Alzheimer’s Biomarkers (Apr. 1, 2008)
Merz Pharmaceuticals Licenses Alzheimer’s Drug Technology from Tel Aviv University (July 10, 2007)

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