France's ExonHit Therapeutics says it could have a diagnostic test that can identify Alzheimer's. The disease has been notoriously difficult to diagnose at an early stage. But ExonHit says a panel of 60 biomarkers that can be detected in the blood can possibly be used to create the first such test. Researchers studied the diagnostic test in a trial involving 51 people with Alzheimer's and 34 who did not. The panel of genes was able to identify 78 percent of the patients with the disease and 82 percent of the volunteers who were free of it. A follow-up study is being prepared to further assess the ability of the test to ID Alzheimer's. ExonHit has a therapy in Phase Ib that is designed to reduce the buildup of amyloid plaque, widely believed to be central to the development of the disease.
"Biomarkers from blood represent a major step as compared to current methodology aimed at detecting biomarkers from cerebrospinal fluid obtained through a lumbar puncture" declares Gustavo Roman, professor of medicine and neurology at the University of Texas in San Antonio, and a member of ExonHit's Scientific Board.
- see this release on the biomarker research