MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J., Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- DiamiR, a developer of innovative blood-based diagnostic tests for neurodegenerative and other diseases, announced today a $492,000 award in support of the project entitled "Circulating brain-enriched microRNAs as peripheral biomarkers of neurodegeneration." The award will accelerate the development of DiamiR's targeted diagnostic technology for detection and prediction of Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. The award is provided by the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) Diagnostics Accelerator, a fund set up in collaboration with Bill Gates and other philanthropic partners.
"Dynamic blood-based biomarkers reflective of pathophysiological processes across AD continuum could help identify and characterize patients at earlier stages of the disease, including prior to clinical manifestation, and facilitate development of effective therapies," said Samuil Umansky, MD, PhD, CSO of DiamiR and Principal Investigator on the project. "In this study we will specifically focus on evaluating associations between changes in the plasma levels of microRNAs enriched in the specific brain regions affected by the disease and other known AD markers. We expect that, ultimately, a combination of biomarkers, including genetic, epigenetic and proteomic markers, will be used by clinicians to tackle heterogeneity of neurodegenerative diseases and to provide the most accurate diagnosis."
"We are delighted to partner with the ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator and are grateful for their support, which will help advance the development of our first diagnostic product, CogniMIRTM, for early detection and prediction of AD progression, towards clinic," added Kira Sheinerman, PhD, CEO of DiamiR.
Dr. Howard Fillit, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the ADDF, said, "We need simple and cost-effective diagnostic tools and biomarkers that are critical to finding ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. With research efforts, such as DiamiR's epigenetics-based blood tests, we aim to accelerate the development of these tools so we can more easily and specifically screen and diagnose patients, stage disease progression, monitor response to treatment, and improve the rigor and efficiency of clinical trials."
About microRNAs as biomarkers of brain health
microRNAs are small non-coding regulatory RNA molecules, which modulate gene expression and whose levels often change in disease. Certain microRNAs are enriched in different brain regions and present in synapses/neurites. microRNAs can cross the blood-brain barrier and are detectable in bodily fluids. Such microRNAs can be effective, patient-friendly biomarkers reflective of processes underlying synapse dysfunction and brain health conditions.
DiamiR is a privately held molecular diagnostics company focused on developing minimally invasive tests for detection and monitoring of pathology based on quantitative analysis of organ-enriched microRNA signatures in plasma for screening, patient stratification, as well as disease progression and treatment monitoring. DiamiR collaborates with leading academic centers, disease foundations, and pharma companies. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.diamirbio.com.
About the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation
Founded in 1998 with support from Leonard A. and Ronald S. Lauder, the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation is dedicated to rapidly accelerating the discovery of drugs to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's disease. The ADDF is the only public charity solely focused on funding the development of drugs for Alzheimer's, employing a venture philanthropy model to support research in academia and the biotech industry. Through the generosity of its donors, the ADDF has awarded over $130 million to fund more than 600 Alzheimer's drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 19 countries. To learn more, please visit: http://www.alzdiscovery.org/.
About the ADDF Diagnostics Accelerator
The Diagnostics Accelerator, established in July 2018, is a partnership of funders with funding commitments totaling nearly $50 million from partners, including ADDF Co-Founder Leonard Lauder, Bill Gates, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, the Dolby family, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, among others, to develop novel biomarkers for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. To learn more about the initiative please visit: AlzDiscovery.org/accelerator.
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events. These statements are predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially.
Kira Sheinerman, PhD
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