Caprion Biosciences Inc. is partnering with a public-private organization known as the Biomarkers Consortium to study whether biomarkers can be used to track changes in early Alzheimer’s disease progression.
Researchers in the Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteomics Project will measure changes in protein concentration of certain biomarkers over time in Alzheimer’s patients and people with mild cognitive impairment. The goal is to improve monitoring and treatment of cognitive impairment conditions.
Lack of tools for determining early diagnosis and disease progression is a major challenge in the development of Alzheimer’s drugs. Currently used biomarkers, such as Aß, tTau, and pTau, do not function well as markers of early diagnosis.
The Biomarkers Consortium is part of the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health, a nonprofit organization that Congress authorized to help the National Institutes of Health — a government organization — carry out its mission.
Organizations participating in the biomarkers project besides Caprion and the Biomarkers Consortium include the foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Yale School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and six other companies.
A previous study identified the five biomarkers that will be assessed in the project. That research measured the concentration of 142 protein biomarkers in people with Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment, and in healthy controls.
The biomarkers that will be studied in the project are part of a biomarker assessment tool that Caprion developed, called the CNS ProteoCarta™ MRM biomarker panel.
Caprion uses mass spectrometry to measure biomarker concentration. Its system needs less than 0.1 ml of cerebrospinal fluid — the liquid that bathes the brain and spinal cord — to make measurements.
The collaboration will focus on the five biomarkers that the previous study identified as the best indicators of cognitive impairment. Researchers will measure the concentration of the proteins in more than 200 people for at least three years. They will include Alzheimer’s patients, people with mild cognitive impairment, and healthy controls.
Researchers will compare changes in biomarker concentration images with changes in patients’ symptoms. This will allow them to determine the biomarkers’ ability to track disease progression.
The five biomarkers are among more than 140 proteins that a number of studies have identified as associated with either Alzheimer’s or other central nervous system diseases.
“This partnership with the FNIH [the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health] is a great example of Caprion’s ongoing commitment to identifying and validating biomarkers of CNS diseases,” Martin LeBlanc, CEO of Caprion Biosciences, said in a press release. “Our CNS ProteoCarta™ biomarker panel builds on Caprion’s expertise in large targeted protein assays in multiple therapeutic areas, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.”
The project will not only validate Alzheimer’s biomarkers, but researchers may be able to use the findings to develop treatments.