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INSIDE INDUSTRY
Cognoptix licenses AD detection technology
Cognoptix, which was known as Neuroptix until October, has exclusively licensed technology from the University of California, San Diego, which Cognoptix has developed into a non-invasive eye-scanning test for the early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cognoptix also revealed that it has established a Clinical Advisory Board, comprised of key opinion leaders from among the worldwide neuroscience community.

The Cognoptix Sapphire II system consists of a laser-based reading device and consumable ophthalmic ointment. The eye exam can be given by a general practitioner and only takes a few minutes to achieve a result. The Cognoptix drug/device combination is a novel, early-stage diagnostic for AD designed to allow treatment before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occurs. A ligand or contrast agent and software-controlled optical instrument allows for non-invasive detection and assessment of AD by measuring the hallmark of AD, amyloid beta, in the supranuclear region of the lens of the eye. The ligand is administered to the eye as an ophthalmic ointment and a proprietary Fluorescent Ligand Scanning instrument, provides an objective and quantitative measurement of amyloid beta in the patient's lens. Significantly faster and an order of magnitude less expensive than brain imaging, the test and diagnosis can be quickly completed in any physician's office, including general practitioners.

Cognoptix has a strong and com-prehensive patent portfolio covering diagnosis of amyloid beta-based diseases via ophthalmic imaging. The patent portfolio includes issued method and device patents, as well as pending composition of matter patents. In addition to UC San Diego, exclusive licenses have been acquired from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s Hospital Boston.

There are more than 100 new AD drugs that are currently in various stages of research and development. The ability of the Cognoptix drug/device combination to identify and qualify patients for clinical study inclusion, as well as accurately and inexpensively track patient disease progression, may provide pharmaceutical companies with a significant competitive advantage in securing new AD drug approvals. It may also help identify and document differentiating pharmaceutical product performance attributes in Phase IV studies. The technology is currently in clinical trials.

Laura Attwood
Editor, Diagnostics Focus

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