June 02, 2008, Business Wire Research and Biomarker Platform Creates Potential to Accelerate Drug Development and Enable Earlier Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Debilitating Neurodegenerative Disorders.
C2N Diagnostics today announced the availability of its first commercial assay and research service for the measurement of neurally-derived biomolecules in vivo. The SILK-Aß™ assay refers to the use of stable isotope labeling and tandem mass spectrometry for the measurement of the kinetics, or metabolism, of amyloid-beta. Amyloid-beta is a small peptide implicated as a key mediator of Alzheimer’s disease.
Developed in the halls of the Washington University School of Medicine by Drs. Randall Bateman and David Holtzman, the proprietary technology behind C2N’s SILK-Aß™ assay received recognition by Scientific American as one of the top 50 scientific advancements of 2006. Dr. Bateman is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Neurology and recipient of several distinguished awards for his innovative research that served the basis for C2N’s platform technology. Dr. David Holtzman is the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and Chair of Neurology and Developmental Biology, and past recipient of the Potamkin prize and MetLife award for Alzheimer’s research.
“With the industry availability of this assay, for the first time, it is now possible for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to readily evaluate the impact of their development-stage compounds on the production and clearance rates of amyloid-beta. The sensitivity of the assay intends to enable clinical researchers the ability to discriminate active from inactive drugs with a remarkably small number of patients,” says Dr. Joel Braunstein, a C2N Managing Member and co-founder of LifeTech Research, a technology research and development firm that formed C2N with Drs. Holtzman and Bateman.
The long-term vision at C2N is to create a convenient-to-use test that can detect Alzheimer’s at its earliest stages, and to guide effective treatment development and use in patients before they manifest any clinical symptoms. With the introduction of its SILK-Aß™ assay, the company believes it is one step closer to this ultimate goal.
About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by loss of memory and decline in basic mental ability. Though several drugs are available to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, none halt or modify disease progression. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases significantly with age. By the age of 85, approximately 1 out of 2 people likely have the disease. Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 20 million elderly people worldwide, and the incidence is likely to grow rapidly over the following decades. According to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, an estimated 4.6 million new cases of Alzheimer’s are diagnosed each year worldwide, and roughly 500,000 of these occur in the United States alone.
About C2N Diagnostics
C2N Diagnostics, LLC formed in late 2007 by scientific co-founders Drs. Holtzman and Bateman, the Washington University Office of Technology Management, and LifeTech Research. C2N resides at the Center for Emerging Technology in St. Louis, MO. The company is developing a suite of biomarker assays and tools to assist in pre-clinical drug discovery, clinical drug development, and the early detection and assessment of progression of debilitating neurodegenerative disorders. The company’s first commercial tool targets Alzheimer’s disease; but other products are in development to target Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among others. For additional information, see www.c2ndiagnostics.com or call 1-877-C2N-DIAG (1-877-226-3424).
About LifeTech Research
Founded in 2003, LifeTech Research, Inc is a Baltimore-Washington based technology development firm and provider of investment due-diligence research across the entire life sciences sector. The company fosters unique innovation by assisting entrepreneurs that possess important ideas and technologies that can change their fields. The collective LifeTech team brings to its portfolio companies diverse experience in regulatory affairs, manufacturing, preclinical and clinical development, technology adoption and reimbursement, business development, and finance. For additional information, see www.lifetechresearch.com.