PharmaKure and UiTM enter research partnership for Alzheimer’s disease

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The collaboration aims to develop biomarker-based diagnostics for the condition

PharmaKure has announced a research collaboration agreement with the Faculty of Pharmacy at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia, for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research.

The partnership will build pharmaceutical and academic collaborations, sharing data and clinical samples, to develop biomarker-based diagnostics for AD.

Affecting 850,000 people in the UK, AD is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that impacts memory, thinking abilities and cognitive function.

The agreement will allow PharmaKure to partner with leading experts and enhance its analysis of molecular signatures of disease biomarkers that are associated with the disease.

The collaboration will utilise machine learning tools, including PharmaKure’s ALZmetrix blood test, to detect people who are at high risk of developing the condition and provide early warnings of cognitive decline.

ALZmetrix is a biomarker test that has been shown to be diagnostic in research and development (R&D) trials for AD and detects the oligomeric forms of amyloid beta, which are found in the brains of people with AD.

The biomarker technology overcomes several physical issues associated with blood testing, such as toxic oligomers located in blood cells, which are difficult to use in immunoassay tests, and enriches the pathological proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor Andrew Doig, head of R&D, PharmaKure, said: “Forming this relationship… will help us translate research from UiTM to further advance and commercialise diagnostic tests needed worldwide.”

Professor Dr Abu Majeed, dean, pharmacy faculty, UiTM, said: “By combining UiTM’s and PharmaKure’s biomarker, clinical and imaging data together with machine learning algorithms, we will gain [a] better understanding of how this disease develops and ultimately find ways to treat it”.

In October, the company submitted a clinical trial application with the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency to evaluate its therapeutic drug, PK051, which combines an antidepressant and an antipsychotic, to treat early and mild-stage patients diagnosed with AD.

Using ALZmetrix as a companion diagnostic, treatments including PK051 could be offered earlier to patients to provide better population-based health outcomes.

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