CHALFONT, PA – November 4, 2013 – Genomind, a personalized medicine company, today announced a licensing agreement with Emory University (www.emory.edu) to partner in the commercialization of the first blood-based screening test for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Under terms of the agreement, which were not disclosed, Genomind has exclusive rights to commercialize blood-based protein biomarkers for assessing risk of MCI and AD.
Over five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease, of which one in eight is 65 years or older, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Every 68 seconds, someone in the United States develops the disease, and by 2050, the number of people aged 65+ with Alzheimer’s is estimated to triple, barring medical breakthroughs for prevention and treatment. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and ranks first for diseases with no known cure. It is costly, with payments for care estimated to be $200 billion in the US alone and rising to $1 trillion by 2050.
“The development of this test represents one of the most significant efforts to date in making available a simple screening tool for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Dr. Jay Lombard, Chief Scientific Officer and Medical Director of Genomind. “But even more importantly, this joint effort between Genomind and Emory will allow us to consider preventive approaches for those at highest risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
“We analyzed blood from over 1,000 subjects with normal cognition or early Alzheimer’s disease, and developed a simple blood test that can identify people at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. William T. Hu, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine and Principal Investigator of the study. “This clearly sets the stage for physicians to help people lower their risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in a manner similar to how we currently manage heart disease risk.”
“A blood test to detect the earliest changes of Alzheimer’s disease is one of the latest advances in our continuing effort to cure this devastating disease,” said Dr. Allan Levey, Betty Gage Holland Chair, Director of Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, Emory. Dr. Levey also noted that this technology will help clinicians with “accurate diagnosis and treatment recommendations involving lifestyle, medications, counseling, education, and other support for patients and their families.” Dr. Levey is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Genomind.
Genomind is a personalized medicine company, comprised of innovative researchers and expert leaders in psychiatry and neurology. Genomind is committed to discovery of the underlying causes of neuropsychiatric disorders and supports the development of personalized medicine that improves patients’ lives. Genomind was founded by Ronald I. Dozoretz, MD, a psychiatrist who has devoted his career to improving mental health. Jay Lombard, DO, a neurologist and co-founder of Genomind, is a critically acclaimed author and nationally recognized thought leader in neuropsychiatry practice and research.