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Imaging company licenses U of Minnesota technology for early detection of Alzheimer’s

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 24th, 2018

Medical imaging company RetiSpec and the University of Minnesota (U of M) have entered into a license agreement to commercialize a technology for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

Developed by U of M researchers Robert Vince, Swati More and James Beach, the technology scans a patient’s eye to detect small amounts of the protein beta amyloid long before the amyloids collect in clusters large enough to form plaques in the brain. Such plaques are a telltale sign of Alzheimer’s progression.

In preclinical studies, the U of M technology detected Alzheimer’s in mice 25% sooner than methods based on visible plaque formation.

“This is the first diagnostic method developed to detect signs of Alzheimer’s well before plaques form in the brain and patients begin to exhibit the outwardly observable symptoms of this devastating disease, such as disorientation and memory loss,” says Vince. “We are excited by the potential early detection holds in giving existing treatments the best chance of success and opening the doors to the development of new drug therapies.”

Under the agreement, which was managed by U of M Technology Commercialization, RetiSpec will integrate the technology into its own machine learning platform, enabling it to perform data analysis in diagnosing Alzheimer’s during an upcoming clinical study.

“The problem is that today we diagnose Alzheimer’s when it is already affecting the way we think and reason, and it is too late. The challenge for both drug developers and clinicians is to intervene early enough to matter,” says Eliav Shaked, founder and CEO of RetiSpec. “With this new technology, we envision facilitating a non-invasive, simple and cost-effective screening of Alzheimer’s disease pathology years before the emergence of clinical symptoms.”

Source: University of Minnesota News

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