UPDATE – Amydis Awarded Prion Disease Grant from NIH
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Amydis, Inc., a privately-held pharmaceutical company developing proprietary chemistry and innovative approaches for the detection of amyloid-related diseases, announced today that they received a grant award from The National Institute of Health (NIH) to develop a novel diagnostic for prion diseases. A prion, the name derived from “protein” and “infectious”, causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in people. CJD is a degenerative and fatal brain disorder that is a public health concern due to the risk of transmission. Several hospitals have reported possible inadvertent exposure of prion disease to other patients through contaminated instruments during brain surgeries.
Amydis is developing a simple test to screen and detect prions in the eye of all patients before brain surgery to help diagnose CJD. The Amydis test will not only help prevent accidental exposure to this infectious disease, but also reduce misdiagnosis by distinguishing treatable progressive dementias from CJD.
“It is an honor to receive this highly competitive grant from the NIH,” stated Stella Sarraf, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Amydis. “The continued support of the NIH with this fourth grant award speaks to the innovation of our technology and our expertise in exploring the eye as the window to the brain to diagnose neurological diseases. By expanding the use of our platform to the orphan disease, CJD, we help address yet another unmet medical need.”
CJD has been called the “great mimicker”, because it can cause symptoms that occur in many other neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, making diagnosis difficult.
Michael Geschwind, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Neurology at the Memory and Aging Center, University of California San Francisco and a world leading authority on CJD and other prion diseases said, “I am excited to collaborate with the Amydis team and help get this test into the clinic. I see a need for Amydis’ objective test to diagnose CJD to help determine a proper diagnosis, ending the need for extensive, expensive testing to determine cause of patients’ symptoms. As we are in the era of treatment trials, this type of test will be even more important when treatments are available that can slow or stop the progression of these terrible diseases.”
Amydis, Inc., founded in 2013, is a privately-held company focused on developing proprietary compounds designed to detect diseases that involve the presence of amyloid proteins. Our mission is to develop a simple, non-invasive eye test to identify patients at risk for amyloid associated diseases that is faster, more accessible, and more affordable than current tests. Amydis has a platform of novel compounds that fluoresce when bound to amyloid proteins, thus enabling visual diagnosis of such diseases. The Company’s most advanced program targets early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Other development programs include the detection of Parkinson’s disease, Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and Traumatic Brain Injury, all of which are associated with the presence of amyloid proteins. For more information on Amydis, please visit www.amydis.com.
Stella Sarraf, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer, Founder
stella at amydis.com