ACTON, Mass., Dec. 3, 2014 — Cognoptix, an emerging medical device company that is developing the SAPPHIRE II eye test designed to identify early-stage Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients via a beta-amyloid (A-beta) signature in their eyes, announced today that it has appointed Barry D. Greenberg, Ph.D., to its Clinical Advisory Board. Dr. Greenberg is Director of Neuroscience Drug Discovery & Development at University Health Network (UHN), Toronto; and, Director of Strategy, Toronto Dementia Research Alliance.
Expansion of the Cognoptix Clinical Advisory board follows an announcement by the Company on Sept. 30, 2014, that it has closed the first tranche of a Series D round of financing totaling over $15 million. Proceeds are being used primarily to complete clinical development of its SAPPHIRE II eye test. "Dr. Greenberg has been involved in Alzheimer's disease research and drug discovery for nearly three decades," said Paul D. Hartung, Chairman, CEO and President of Cognoptix. "His vast experience will be extremely valuable to Cognoptix as we accelerate completion of the clinical development of our SAPPHIRE II eye test, which we believe will play a key role in enabling early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease at point-of-care."
Barry Greenberg has been involved in Alzheimer's Disease research and drug discovery since1985. Before joining UHN as Director of Neuroscience Drug Discovery and Development, he was Senior Director of Pharmacology at Neurochem, responsible for the preclinical biology research program and a contributor to the analyses of the phase III Alzhemed trial.
At UHN, he is also Strategy Director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, a consortium involving academic research and the five memory clinics at hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto, to create a citywide dementia research center. Dr. Greenberg has authored or co-authored 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 19 book chapters and reviews.
In addition to Dr. Greenberg, the Cognoptix Clinical Advisory Board also includes: P. Murali Doraiswamy, M.D., Professor, Psychiatry &?Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Institute for Brain Sciences, Durham, North Carolina; Carl H. Sadowsky, M.D., F.A.A.N., Director of Research at Premiere Research Institute Clinical Professor, Division of Neurology, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Pierre N. Tariot, M.D., Director of Banner Alzheimer's Institute, Phoenix; Research Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine; and, Gordon Wilcock, D.M., F.R.C.P., (Hon) D.Sc., Professor Emeritus of Clinical Geratology, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.
By detecting a specific fluorescent signature of ligand-marked A-beta in the supranucleus region of the human lens, SAPPHIRE II achieved a sensitivity of 85% and a specificity of 95% in differentiating 20 patients who were clinically diagnosed with probable AD from a group of 20 age-matched healthy volunteers in a Phase II clinical trial. In addition, the SAPPHIRE II test showed superior correlation to PET (positron emission tomography) amyloid brain imaging, with 95% specificity for SAPPHIRE II versus 80% for PET brain imaging.
Cognoptix, a privately held medical technology company headquartered in Acton, Mass., is focused on developing and commercializing an in-office, drug/device diagnostic system as an aid in the early detection of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Its investors include Alopexx Enterprises, Inventages Venture Capital, and Launchpad Venture Group. NOTE: The SAPPHIRE II system is approved for investigational use only in the United States.