Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer Disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder affecting half of all the people above 80 years of age. The available diagnostic methods are expensive and are not available to all patients. An easily detectable biomarker that could be used for diagnosis and monitoring of AD is needed. Researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology demonstrated that measuring drusen deposits in the periphery of the eye can be used as diagnostic method for AD.

The Technology and its Advantages

Several markers for early detection of AD exist with PET studies of amyloid deposition and brain metabolism, MR imaging of celebrar athropy and CSF tau sampling being the gold standard. These, however, are expensive and require significant patient compliance. The MRI scans are also often not available for elderly patients due to their contradictions. Researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology identified that retinal drusen, an amyloid plaque-like depositing at the macular periphery can provide indirect measure of amyloid beta deposition in the brain. Drusen imaging is fast, requires little compliance from the patient, can be sampled serially and is cheaper as compared to the methods used for diagnosing AD currently.

Market Opportunity

The global market size for Alzheimer’s Disease therapeutics was estimated at $3.6billion in 2014 and expected to grow to $6.5billion in 2022. AD is a challenge to care givers, families and health care systems all over the world. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease rises steeply with age and as current projections estimate that the number of elderly people will double in the next generation, so will the prevalence of AD. The current understanding of the disease is that the greatest therapeutic effects can be achieved if the AD could be diagnosed early. The early symptoms of AD, however, are associated with normal aging and as the current diagnostic methods are complicated and costly, many patients do not become diagnosed until the disease is developed. Therefore lowering the cost and simplification of diagnosis and monitoring of AD are the greatest unmet medical needs in the context of a growing elderly population.

Intellectual Property Status

Patent Pending (US13/772600)

Further Information

Please contact Dr Wesley Randle, Senior Business Manager |T: +44 (0)20 7679 9000 | E: w.randle@uclb.com

The technology referred to herein is experimental in nature and UCL Business PLC makes no representations and gives no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, in relation to the technology and, in particular but without limiting the foregoing, UCL Business PLC gives no express or implied warranties of merchantability, satisfactory quality or fitness for a particular purpose.