ACTON, Mass., Dec. 4, 2012 — Cognoptix, an emerging medical device company previously known as Neuroptix, announced today that it has exclusively licensed groundbreaking technology from the University of California at San Diego (“UC San Diego”), which Cognoptix has developed into an innovative, noninvasive eye-scanning test for the early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (“AD”). The UC San Diego technology is the subject of a scientific paper recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Chemic al Society (“Aminonaphthalene 2-Cyanoacrylate [ANCA] Probes Fluorescently Discriminate between Amyloid-ß and Prion Plaques in Brain”).
Cognoptix also announced that it has established a Clinical Advisory Board comprised of key opinion leaders (KOLs) from among the worldwide neuroscience community: P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, Professor of Psychiatry &?Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, and Member, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; and, Gordon Wilcock, DM, FRCP, (Hon) DSC, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Geratology, OPTIMA (Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing) Project, University of Oxford.
“Currently there is no early-stage non-invasive diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease in the market,” said Paul Hartung, President and CEO of Cognoptix. “ Unfortunately, patients often incur up to 50% neuronal loss and a delay of up to two years before demonstrating severe enough symptoms to achieve diagnosis by the current gold standard: a ‘process of elimination’ of other possible diagnoses such as stroke, trauma, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, etc., through extensive cognitive and physical testing. New therapeutic drugs to slow or stop the progress of AD are expected to reach the market soon. Cognoptix is developing a method of early-stage diagnosis to allow treatment before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occurs.”
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 an entirely novel, early-stage diagnostic for Alzheimer’s disease designed to allow treatment before significant neuronal loss and irreversible brain damage occurs. Cognoptix has a strong and comprehensive patent portfolio covering diagnosis of beta amyloid-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 and Women’s Hospital Boston.
There are more than 100 new Alzheimer’s drugs that are in various stages of research and development. The ability of the Cognoptix drug/device combination to easily 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 Alzheimer’s drug approvals. It may also help identify and document differentiating pharmaceutical product performance attributes in Phase 4 studies.
Paul Hartung will present the Cognoptix story at the New England Venture Summit on Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 11:40 a.m.-12:50 p.m. EST at the Hilton Boston Dedham.
About SAPPHIRE II
Cognoptix has developed an in-office, drug/device diagnostic system designed as an aid in the early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). A ligand or contrast agent (drug) and software-controlled optical instrument (device) allows for noninvasive detection and assessment of AD by measuring the hallmark of AD, beta amyloid, in the supranuclear region of the lens of the eye. The ligand is easily administered to the eye as an ophthalmic ointment and a proprietary Fluorescent Ligand Scanning (FLS) instrument, provides an objective and quantitative measurement of beta amyloid 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. The technology is currently in clinical trials.
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 lead investor is Inventages Venture Capital, one of the world’s largest life sciences-, nutrition- and wellness-focused venture capital firms.
NOTE: The SAPPHIRE II system is approved for investigational use only in the United States.