Cytox, a precision medicine company which today is commercializing polygenic risk scoring (PRS) approaches for assessing genetic risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurological diseases, has announced it has expanded its research collaboration with the Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) to test new algorithms for identifying the pre-symptomatic and mild cognitively impaired people most at risk to progress to AD.
Under the expanded agreement Cytox will assess genetic risk for accelerated development of AD using its current, commercially available, research use only approaches developed to run on the Thermo Fisher Scientific Applied Biosystems™ GeneTitan™ Multi-Channel (MC) instrument platform. AIBL will provide biobank samples together with associated longitudinal data from study research participants clinically diagnosed as cognitively normal, with mild cognitive impairment or with AD. Each subject has confirmed amyloid status from PET imaging, with some of the subjects remaining cognitively stable and others cognitively declining during the study period.
Genotyping of DNA samples will be performed by Cytox’s validated Australian genotyping services partner, Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics, a national infrastructure facility delivering internationally competitive genomic services and based in Sydney, Australia.
“The AIBL biobank presents a tremendous research opportunity due to the number of blood samples from subjects which are extremely well characterized both in terms of cognitive performance and biomarker status over a significant period of time,” states Dr. Richard Pither, CEO of Cytox. “By working closely with AIBL and its researchers, led by AIBL genetic lead, Dr. Simon Laws, we will explore the performance of our PRS approaches for assessing genetic risk for progressing from initial symptoms to fully symptomatic AD.
“Through this collaborative work we foresee the data generated will help drug developers running clinical trials and sponsors of large cohort studies better stratify their subjects based on accelerated disease development risk. Over time, and as new treatments for AD make it to market, we plan to make the products and services that result from this collaboration available for routine clinical practice.”